Quince and frangipane tart

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 10 people

  • 240 gm plain flour
  • 180 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: vanilla bean ice-cream
  •  
  • Poached quince
  • 4 quince (about 250gm each)
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  •  
  • Frangipane
  • 250 gm softened butter
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 250 gm almond meal
  • 25 ml Armagnac (see note)
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour
01   For poached quince, peel, quarter and core quince (discard seeds and peel) and set aside in acidulated water. Bring remaining ingredients and 1.5 litres water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add quince, cover closely with a round of baking paper, reduce heat to low, simmer until tender and ruby coloured (2-3 hours), cool in liquid. Purée 8 quince quarters in a food processor until smooth and set aside. Transfer 300ml poaching liquid (discard remainder) to a saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce to a syrup consistency (7-10 minutes).
02   Meanwhile, pulse flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 60ml iced water and pulse until mixture comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead to combine, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
03   Roll out pastry to a 3mm-thick round, line a 25cm-diameter tart tin, trim edges and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
04   Preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake pastry case until light golden (15-20 minutes). Remove paper and weights and bake until base is golden (10-12 minutes), set aside to cool.
05   Meanwhile, for frangipane, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add almond meal, then Armagnac, then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined. Sift flour over and stir to combine.
06   Spread puréed quince in base of pastry case, top with frangipane, smooth top, and bake until frangipane is golden and cooked through and springs back when lightly pressed (30-35 minutes). Cool slightly, then serve warm with poached quince, reduced quince syrup and vanilla bean ice-cream.
Note Armagnac is available from select bottle shops. If unavailable, substitute brandy.

This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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