A truly wonderful dessert from Bon Appetit Magazine. The crust can easily be made the day before and kept in the fridge until needed. The caramel is not difficult. Use a light coloured pan so you can closely watch for the colour to change. It actually takes about the time the recipe says. Have your large pan partly filled with ice ready and as they say, “Bob’s your uncle”. You can cut up the quince while the caramel is cooling. I have made this tarte tatin 3 times and have had no problem turning it out onto the platter. Just allow the cooling time suggested. You will be impressed with the beautiful colour of the finished tarte! It’s fabulous served with a dollop of creme fraiche.** It is dead easy to make but if you don’t have time, simply whisk together equal amounts of whipping cream and sour cream, adding a little bit of sugar.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon liquid honey
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 small quinces (about 3 1/4 lbs), peeled, each cut into 1″ wide wedges & cored
Mix first 3 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl; add to processor. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead & kept refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
Fill large skillet with ice cubes; set aside.
Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy 11″ diameter ovenproof skillet (measure across the bottom of the pan for correct measurement). Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium–high; boil until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of skillet with a pastry brush dipped in cold water & swirling skillet, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and cinnamon. Immediately place skillet containing caramel atop ice in large skillet; let stand until caramel is cold and hardened, about 30 minutes. Remove skillet from ice.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange quince wedges tightly together, rounded side down, in concentric circles atop caramel in skillet. Fill center with any broken quince pieces. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 12 1/2″ round. Place dough atop quinces; tuck edges of dough down around sides of quinces. Make three 2″ long cuts in center of dough to allow steam to escape during baking. Place skillet on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until quinces are tender and crust is deep golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes, checking after 1 hour. Remove from oven; let cool 30 minutes.
Place large platter atop skillet. Using oven mitts, hold platter and skillet firmly together and invert, allowing tart to slide out onto platter. Rearrange any dislodged quince wedges, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature with creme fraiche.
To make your own “easy” creme fraiche, click How to Make Creme Fraiche.