Here, fragrant quince are simmered with a bit of honey and vanilla bean, then topped with puff pastry and baked to make a quince tarte tatin (inspired by David Lebovitz's recipe), a riff on the classic French apple tart that would be the perfect end to a fall meal.
I like to make my own puff pastry because its nice to have around for spontaneous baking around the holidays. If you’d prefer to buy frozen puff pastry, that works too. Just make sure to buy one that uses butter, not shortening or hydrogenated oil as the fat. Dufour brand is nice. If puff pastry isn’t your style, any single pie crust recipe will do the job just as well. —Yossy Arefi
Add the sugar and water to a pot and cook gently over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add in the lemon, lemon juice and vanilla bean. While the liquid is heating peel, quarter and core the quince, making sure to remove any of the fibrous core. Once cut, put the quince directly into the simmering poaching liquid and gently cook until tender. The quince quarters should be fully submerged in the liquid while cooking to avoid browning. This can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the size and density of your fruit. Cool and store the quince in the syrup for up to one week
Quince Tarte Tatin
Preheat oven to 375
Pour the quince poaching liquid into a 9- or 10-inch skillet and reduce the liquid over moderate heat until thick and syrupy. You should have about 1/4 cup liquid left in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and line with the poached quince quarters, rounded side down. The quince should fit snugly in the pan as the slices will settle while cooking.
On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the pastry into a circle roughly the size of your skillet. Lay the dough over the fruit and tuck in the edges.
Bake the tart for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden brown and fully cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes on a rack. Then carefully invert the tarte onto a rimmed serving dish. If any of the quince quarters stick to the pan, just gently remove them and put them back into place on top of the tarte. Serve the tarte warm, the day it’s made with a bit of creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream if desired.
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.