- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1" cubes
- 3 Tbsp ice water
- 1 1/4 cups strained quince poaching liquid
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)
To poach the quince, in a large, nonreactive pot over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar, honey, lemon and vanilla bean.
Meanwhile, quarter, peel, and remove cores of quince. Make sure to remove anything tough or fibrous. Once ready, slip each quince piece into simmering liquid. Once they’re all done, cover pot with a round of parchment paper with a walnut-sized hole cut in center and place it on top.
Turn heat to low and simmer quince until the quince are cooked through, 1-2 hours. They’re done when they are tender when pierced by a paring knife.
Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, pour quince and their liquid into a storage container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Note: The quantity of dough is suitable for any size pan, from 8-10″. If using a larger mold, simply increase quantity of quince liquid by about 25%. If quince aren’t your thing, poached pears work just as well. And don’t worry if quince syrup gels after it sits for a bit in pan. Heat it with a bit more liquid, stirring until it’s smooth again. Extra syrup that collects from the finished tart should be saved to drizzle or brush over wedges of the finished tart, giving them a brilliant sheen.
To make the tart, in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, salt, and butter, until butter is in small pieces, about size of large peas.
Add water and pulse until dough just begins to hold together. If it looks too dry, add a sprinkle more water. Use your hands to knead dough for a couple of seconds, just until it comes together, and shape it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, pour in quince poaching liquid and cook until thick and syrupy, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. You should have about 1/4 cup.
Pat dry 9-11 poached quince quarters and place them tightly against each other, rounded side down, in the pan.
Preheat oven to 375° and adjust rack to lower third of the oven.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle a few inches bigger than skillet you’re using. Drape dough over quince and tuck in edges around fruit. Bake the tart until dough is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack, about 5 minutes. Place a rimmed serving platter over tart, and flip tart over. Be careful not to burn yourself and save any glaze that comes out to pour back over the tart. Serve warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream, if using.
From David Lebovitz