Quince Tart & Yaldā Night
There are two fruits that we, Iranians, hold dear, specially during Yaldā celebrations, pomegranates and quince. These fruits have poetic characteristic, quince is a symbol of love and good health. Pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning, and wisdom.
Last week in preparation for Yaldā, I made a quince tart and I have to say it was my new favorite tart and I promise, it will be yours as well. This tart is moist, fragrant, and so tender.
Since quince are usually hard and tough, I pre cooked them in a rosewater syrup prior to making the tart. I also include the seeds of one quince wrapped in a cheesecloth into the boiling syrup as the pectin from the seeds will cause the juice to thicken.
Plan on cooking the quinces a day or two before you intend to prepare the tart because cooking them can easily become an all-day job. It doesn’t require your constant attention, but make sure to be nearby to test them for tenderness and not overcook them. I personally don’t peel quince, but if you choose to do so, be careful when paring the quinces: their tough flesh can easily make the knife slip and cut you.
Here are few tips for browning butter:
Use the right butter, use only unsalted butter. Salted butter foams more than unsalted does when melted, which can make it difficult to monitor the color
Scrape out the pan, much of the flavor of browned butter is in the browned milk solids. Make sure you get every last bit out of the pan.
6 cups water
3 cups sugar
3 large apple quinces, halved, cored, and each half cut into 5 pieces
1/4 cup rose water
3-4 cardamom pods
seeds of one quince
Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat in a large copper pan
Add the quince and the seeds of quince wrapped in a cheesecloth and return the syrup to a boil.
Cover the pan and bake the quinces for 1 1/2 hours. Test the quince to see if it’s tender, If not tender, bake for another 1/2 hour or until it’s done.
Don’t stir the quinces while they are cooking or they may break apart.
Cool the quinces in the syrup and refrigerate in a large plastic container until you are ready to make the tart.
1 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons water
Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor
Pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 3 or 4 times, until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Add the water and pulse 2 or 3 times, until the dough forms clumps
Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured work surface
Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
Brown Butter Filling
8 tablespoons (113g /1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2(122g) cup sugar
2 tablespoons (100g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Cook until the butter begins to become foamy and turns a light brown color.
Immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to cool slightly and set aside
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up, then whisk in the sugar.
Sift over and whisk in the flour & cardamom, followed by the cooled butter & set aside for assembly
Assembly the quince tart
Mise en place:
3 small rose buds
1/4 cup Powdered sugar
20g ground pistachios
Preheat to 350 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured work surface. Flour the dough and gently press it with a rolling pin in close parallel strokes to soften it. Roll the dough to a 12-inch disk. Fold the dough in half and transfer it to the pan, lining up the fold with the diameter of the pan.
Unfold the dough and press it well into the bottom and sides of the pan. Use the back of a knife to cut any excess dough at the rim of the pan.
With spoon carefully remove the wedges of quince from the syrup and place them on a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels to drain.
Arrange the wedges of quince on the tart crust, close together and perpendicular to the edge of the crust. Fill in the center with more wedges.
Pour the brown butter filling over the quince in the crust. Bake the tart for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and the filling is puffed and well colored.
Remove from the oven and let cool the tart on a rack.
Before serving dust with powdered sugar and decorate with rose petals and ground pistachios.
Storage: Keep the tart at room temperature on the day it is baked. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers. Bring them to room temperature before serving again.
I invite you to watch preparing this tart on my Instagram highlights. If you have any questions, please type below in the comment section, because it’s most likely that other people have the same questions.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.