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Quince & Hazelnut Tart

Quince & Hazelnut Tart

While our Northern neighbours are waking up out of winter, we are enjoying golden autumn days and the last harvests from the orchard.  This recipe celebrates the old fashioned quince and freshly harvested hazelnuts.

best quince and hazelnut tart recipe

Crack a cup full of hazelnuts and toast them in a pan until the skins blister and the kitchen fills with the smell of roasted nuts.  Rub them between a clean cloth to remove the skins and set them aside to cool. Grind them to a coarse meal in a spice grinder or food processor.

Slowly poach whole quinces in a heavy pan with enough water to 3/4 cover them and a heavy lid. I add some sugar, a stick of cinnamon and whole star anise too. Do as many as your pot will hold as you can freeze the cooked pulp for use throughout the year. You'll only need 2 cups of quince for the tart.

After a few hours of slow poaching, take the quince off the heat and let them cool. Remove the skins and cores and set aside the cooked flesh.  Reduce the remaining poaching liquid to a thick syrup and return it to the cooked quince.

You can freeze this mixture in small lots for use in muffins, yogurt, and pies.

Pastry

The addition of the toasted hazelnuts to this pastry makes it as delicious as the filling. It makes enough for two 20cm (8 in) tart dishes so you can freeze half for later if you only want to bake one.

  • 250g / 8 oz plain flour
  • 150g / 5 oz butter
  • 50g / 2 oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts 

In a bowl or food processor, cream the butter and sugar, add the flour and nuts and combine.  Mix in the egg and put it in the fridge to cool before you use it. Grease your pie dish and line it with the chilled pastry. Prick the base and put it back in the fridge while you make the filling.

Filling

  • 2 cups cold poached quince flesh
  • 125 ml  (4 oz) cream or yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 grams (3 oz) sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp orange flower water (or whisky!)
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter

Mix everything except the butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter and whisk it in.  Spread the quince thickly across the base of the pastry case then pour the filling mixture over the top. Cook the tart for 25 minutes in a hot oven at 200°C (400°F). Serve warm.

 quince pie recipe

 

 

 

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