For retro month I’m going to take you way back in history, with a fruit that was possibly cultivated even before the apple. Famed for its floral perfume, amazing bright yellowy green colour and fluffy outer layer the quince is quite a treat if prepared in the right way. Indeed they are not much to behold in their raw state, very hard and sour tasting, but when cooked for several hours in water with lots of sugar you will be rewarded with a tender deep red coloured flesh and a wonderful sweet floral flavour.
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp water
2 quinces poached
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
200g ground almonds
120g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Cut quinces in half and place in roasting dish cover with water, add the 200g of sugar, cinnamon stick, start anise and cook at 120˚C for 6 to 8 hours (this can be done in advance).
2. To make the pastry, cream the butter with the icing sugar in a mixer.
3. Add the yolks one by one making sure each is mixed before adding the next. Lightly mix in the flour, remove from the mixer and knead a little on a floured surface to combine (do not over-mix).
4. Wrap in cling film and chill.
5. To make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and the 1 yolk, then fold in nuts and vanilla. Chill the mixture.
6. Preheat your oven to 180ºC, on bake.
7. Roll the pastry out approximately 2-3mm thick and line a 26cm tart shell. Dock the pastry with a fork, then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
8. Blind bake the tart shell for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove the pastry weights and cook for a further 5 minutes then brush on egg wash and cook for a further 2 minutes. The egg wash will seal the pastry from the wet filling.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC.
10. Once the pastry crust has cooled, add about 2 thirds of the frangipane mix to the tart shell.
11. Press the cored and sliced poached fruit into the mix, and then add the remaining frangipane mix in little blobs. The filling will rise so be careful not to overfill the tart.
12. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the frangipane sets.
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