Quince jam is what makes this apple pie different from all the others. It's got a unique taste and I usually make a batch to have all year round for tarts or even serve with a roasted pork loin or cheese. This recipe also uses pre-cooked pecan crust pie cases and pre-cooked apples so it's very easy to make ahead - you can freeze your pastry cases, have the quince jam in your pantry and just make the apples before serving and you are ready to go. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Wash, peel and core the quinces, cut them up in pieces. In a pot add the water first, then the sugar and the quince. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and cook over low heat covered with a lid for 45 to 60 minutes or until quince is very soft.
Remove from heat and drain the cooking liquid. In the same pot add half the cooking liquid to the quince and with a hand held blender purée the quince. Keep adding cooking liquid and pureeing until you have the consistency of a soft jam.
Fill clean glass jars, put the lid on and let cool. Store in a cool dark cupboard. If serving with savoury dishes like loin of pork or with cheese, add some mustard to the quince jam - it's a perfect combination.
In your food processor add the flour, salt and pecans and pulse until the pecans are totally ground. Add the lemon rind, butter in pieces and pulse about 10 times. Add the water and lemon juice and pulse until just incorporated, about 8 times. Empty the ingredients onto a table top and quickly press together with your hands tto form a round disk. Put in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
Prepare a 9" diameter pie pan with removable bottom. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the pie pan and trim the edges of excess pastry and pinch the sides to decorate. Prick the pastry base with a fork and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes. At this point you can totally freeze the pie crust in a plastic bag and keep for 1 month. Bake directly from the freezer when you need the pie crust.
Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
Wash, core and cut the apples in halves and peel them. Put the apple cut side down and cut in thin slices crosswise. Lightly press the palm of your hand on the the sliced half apple to make the slices slightly lean. Dust with icing sugar and transfer with a spatula to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cook in the oven until they start to get golden.
Put the oven up to 400º F.
Cut a 12 inch diameter piece of parchment paper, put on top of the pastry and fill with dry beans or ceramic pie weights. Pre-cook in the oven until the edges are lightly brown. Remove paper with weights and cook a few more minutes to cook the base as well. Remove from oven.
Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Fill the bottom of the pie with quince jam, transfer the sliced pre-cooked half apples, decorating the top of the pie. Fill the middle with slices of apple in a circular format. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes. Let cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.
The photo shows induvidual pies but the recipe is exactly the same, it's just a question of choice.