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Making Tarte Tatin with Quince [Split from Quebec Board]

I normally make TarteTatin with Granny Smith apples, and was wondering how the version with quinces compares, as they are both tart fruit.

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  1. I wouldn't make a tarte tatin with Quince - would take to long to soften. I have made a tarte tatin with pears and with pineapples. The pineapple version was ridiculously good - as the caramelization on the fruit was exquisite.

    I just saw Quince this evening at Loblaws on St. Jacques- but they looked very very green and smelled of nothing.

    6 Replies
    1. re: maisonbistro

      When you make a Tarte Tatin do you make caramel first and then put the fruit in, or do you put the fruit into the sugar/butter mixture and cook it till it softens, yielding juice which caramelizes? I use the latter method, and it turns out great.

      BTW I find that with Tarte Tatin I like it best with vanilla ice cream AND whipped cream, especially when it is just out of the oven.

      1. re: souschef

        I make the caramel first. The way a real tarte tatin is supposed to be made (Oh God, I hope I don't start something here)

        1. re: maisonbistro

          You started something here, okay. I beg to differ. With all due respect (I am having some fun here), I have always thought that making the caramel first is the lazy way to make it. The way I make it, you have to first carefully coax the juice out of the apples so that they get nice and soft without turning to mush, and then those juices get caramelized. Theoretically, using your method the apples can stay firm in the tatin, and who wants firm apples in their tatin? Making the caramel first is no challenge.

          1. re: souschef

            I use Julia Child's recipe, in which you make the caramel (butter and sugar) in the pan, then add the apples (tossed in sugar and lemon juice), and baste frequently. The apples are incredibly tender, and soak up the caramel.

      2. re: maisonbistro

        oh yes pineapple tatin is another favourite, with some ground star anise in the caramel, heavenly!
        I usually make the caramel first then add the apples. I try as use a couple of different apple types each time, so while some are soft others keep their shape. In England we have a variety commenly called the 'cooking apple' which is very tart and firm, ideal for cooking with. Alas, they don't grow here apparently.

        1. re: maisonbistro

          I seem to recall someone posting on the boards about a successful Quince Tarte Tatin - would love to try it.

          Edit - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4548...

        2. Apple and quince tarte tatin is lovely, very floral and pretty to look at.
          The key is poaching the peeled/cored quince first. I use a 2:1 simple syrup with a vanilla bean thrown in and maybe a cinn. stick or small piece of star anise or cardamom. Don't forget a pinch of salt.
          Bring to a simmer, turn down your heat and cover with parchment. You can use an over turned plate to keep the quince quarters beneath the surface.
          Poach till tender, then reduce the liquid for a sauce, cutting the sweetness with some lemon juice and/or calvados.
          I make my caramel first, using brown sugar and butter, directly in a cast iron pan. Place the pan on ice to stop the caramel from burning, but take it far enough so the fruit gets lots of color.
          I don't use puff pastry, I prefer the crispy crostata dough in Chez Panisse Fruit book. It's delicious, especially if you brush the dough with butter and sprinkle on suger once you lay it over the fruit. A hot oven will insure a beautiful caramelized crust as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rabaja

            I'd say you nailed it. I really like the cardamon idea. I've always thought of quince as having an affinity for middle eastern food -- I think the rose aroma has something to do with it (it is a member of the rose family). How about some pomegranate molasses added to the caramel?

          2. While I prefer the classic apple tatin, I've successfully made it w/ quince before using this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            I skipped the step about letting the caramel harden since it seemed unnecessary, and it was fine. The quince softened nicely during the baking process, and there was a nice balance of tart/sweet. Let us know if you try it!