Poached Quince Almond Tart

October 21, 2013
1 Ratings
Photo by Shauna Ahern
  • Makes one 9-inch tart
Author Notes

So you're already thinking about the holidays. And maybe, instead of growing excited, you are starting to panic. Why? You have a house full of people coming and one of them has to be gluten-free, the other is avoiding grains entirely, another can't do dairy, and another is avoiding refined sugars.. (You really do have a lot of people coming to the house, don't you?) You are ready to throw up your hands and order out.

Well, here's your calming influence. This delicious dessert will suit the needs of all those friends and family. And no one else will know it's a special dessert. They might just want to know your baking secrets.

(Anyone has to avoid tree nuts or eggs? Well, you might need a second dessert for those folks.)

So stop thinking of this as a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, Paleo-friendly dessert. Stop thinking about this in terms of deprivation. Just put this on the table and listen to everyone's appreciation during the holidays.

What You'll Need
  • Coconut Oil Pie Crust
  • 140 grams almond flour
  • 70 grams tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 75 grams coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
  • Coconut Milk Custard and Poached Quince
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus 1 cup for quince poaching liquid
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Peels from 1 lemon
  • 1 ounce chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 quinces, peeled, cored, and quartered
  1. For the crust: Whisk together the almond flour and tapioca flour in a large bowl. Use the whisk to break apart any lumps of almond flour. Whisk the salt into the flour mix.
  2. Add pieces of the coconut oil into the dry ingredients. Use your hands to rub the coconut oil into the flour mix, until the entire mixture looks like slightly lumpy sand.
  3. Dribble in the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing the dough together with your hands between each tablespoon. When the dough starts to come together, but is not yet wet, stop adding water. Bring the dough together to form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Put the chilled disc of dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Imagining that the dough is the face of a clock, roll out the dough in 10-minute increments, until it's about 1/4-inch thick and larger than a 9-inch pie plate.
  5. Flip the dough onto the pie plate and gently remove the parchment paper. If the dough sticks, be patient. Nudge it onto the pie plate. If it still sticks, you can remove the dough and press it into any holes in the crust. It will still work. Crimp the edges.
  6. Put the dough into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 375° F. When it has been at full heat for 15 minutes, pull the pie crust out of the freezer. Grease a large piece of aluminum foil and put it, greased side down, on the dough. Pour in enough dry beans or pie weights and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and bake until the crust is entirely set and starting to brown, about another 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the pie crust to come to room temperature.
  9. ___________________________________________________________________
  10. For the coconut milk custard: Combine the tapioca flour with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir well until you have a smooth slurry. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat them together well.
  11. Heating the coconut milk: Set a small pot over medium heat. Add the coconut milk and lime leaf and stir well. Heat the milk until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat.
  12. Temper 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the beaten eggs. Pour the remaining hot milk into the egg mixture.
  13. Strain the milk mixture to remove the lime leaf. Pour the hot custard back into the pot. Turn on the heat to medium. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the honey and stir well. Whisking the custard, pour in a little of the tapioca slurry at a time, stirring in between to watch the custard thicken. When the custard has thickened to your liking, turn off the heat.
  14. Let the custard cool on the counter and then refrigerate until it is entirely chilled.
  15. For the poached quinces: Set a large pot over high heat. Pour in the apple cider, honey, 2 cups of water, vanilla extract, lemon peels, ginger, and star anise. Bring them to a boil, then turn down the heat to low.
  16. Add the quinces and poach until a knife pierces the quince flesh easily, about 1 hour. Fold a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pot to keep the quinces submerged.
  17. Remove the quinces from the liquid. When they have cooled, slice them.
  18. Reducing the liquid. Simmer the poaching liquid on low, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has become a nice, thick syrup, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  19. Assembling the Tart: Spoon the chilled custard into the chilled pie crust. Top with sliced quinces. Drizzle the top with the poaching syrup. Chill everything together, then serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Yasmeen
  • Atlanta
  • Trees
  • Rebecca Cherry
    Rebecca Cherry
  • glutenfreegirl
Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it. We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream. Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.

10 Reviews

Yasmeen October 27, 2015
This looks wonderful. I would love to make it for my brother, who has celiacs and is vegan. Would egg replacer work in the custard or do you have another suggestion. Thanks for sharing this!
asdfae November 11, 2013
Looks great! Is step #9 missing or is this a formatting issue?
Atlanta October 23, 2013
This is by no means "Paleo-friendly," considering all of the flour and the sugars inherent in the coco milk, which the body metabolizes in the same manner as refined sugar.
bo R. October 23, 2013
Looks awesome! But quince? I'm going to assume those are available during the holidays? (I've never seen one.) Think it will work with another fruit?
TeaThea October 23, 2013
Looks amazing! Can't wait to try it for the holidays!
celia October 23, 2013
She says "stop thinking of this as a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo-friendly dessert." Because it isn't vegan. Duh.
gabe October 23, 2013
How is this vegan?
Rebecca C. October 23, 2013
The tart is not described as vegan; the scenario Shauna (aka: Gluten Free Girl) sets up includes a vegan, for whom she suggests you might need a second dessert. The other idea is to use egg replacer. Shauna has a number of recipes on her website that will guide the baking, non-egg eater.
glutenfreegirl October 23, 2013
It's not vegan! Thanks for catching that. When I first wrote the headnote, we were trying to make the custard vegan, because we like to create food that can feed everybody, but it just didn't work the way we wanted it. And then the headnote remained un-edited. I've gone back to take out the word vegan. Thanks for pointing it out.
Trees October 21, 2013
This is described as vegan, but it involves 4 eggs.