7 BITES
MORE

honeyed quince crumble tart

September 13, 2010

“What is that?” asked the Bean, her nose wrinkled in confusion as she flung bales of tulle around the dining room.

“How do you eat it?” asked the VTB, prodding the furry skin and thinking, as always, about hygiene.

“I can’t cut it!” I wailed, as my knife got stuck about three quarters of the way through the fruit.

And so began the day (and how long ago that day was) on which I decided to be inspired by quince.

I blame Y and Steph. Their pictures of ruby red jewels embedded in buttery batter called to me. And besides, I’d never cooked with quince before. Never tasted it even. And certainly never tried to cut two or three of them into cubes.

But I was curious. And, as with any game involving the Bean, I know that any attempt at ignoring my curiosity is a game I’m bound to lose.

It’s an ingrained flaw of mine – this curiosity. I’m drawn, almost inexplicably, to the imperfect. The undervalued. Anything that is, by definition, the antithesis of effortless.

And oh, it causes heartache. Frustration. Bouts of disconcerting solitude whilst I muster up the courage to have another go. Take another shot. Inject that last little bit of energy I have into that not-quite-there in the ineradicable belief that, somehow, everything will work out.

So it was with quince. The few blunt knives I owned creaked under the pressure. My fingers were sticky with residue. There was fun in the sink. Fur! From a fruit! Guh!!

But then in it went, this horibble forsaken fruit (or so I had convinced myself). A third-cup of earthy chestnut honey wasted. Three hours in the oven to go and no chance of anything even vaguely recoverable from the whole disheartening experience.

But then, magic, as pale sickly beige transformed into fragrant, illuminating red and floral chestnut tones filled the surrounding rooms. A quick sweet pastry. A crumble atop.

And the sun, ever hopeful (even whilst caught in the throes of calamity) shone yet again.

honey baked quince

you will need:

3 large quince
1/3 C floral honey (chestnut did get quite strong, so I’d suggest something lighter)
1/4 C water

how to do it:

1. Grab the quince and give them a scrub with a washing up brush and detergent. This will remove the oily fluff on their exterior. Peel the quince and place them into a bowl of acidulated water (normal water with some lemon juice added) to stop them browning, making sure they are completely submerged.

2. Take the heaviest knife you can find and chop the quince into 2cm cubes. This step is far harder than you’d think.

3. Lay the quince down in a baking dish, making sure they fit together snugly & there aren’t too many gaps. Pour over the water and honey and stir to combine.

4. Cover the dish with foil and bake the quince for at least 2 hours, or until the quinces are soft, reddened and a fork pierces the fruit easily.

5. Use your favourite shortcrust pastry (mine is here) and blind bake the bottom crust. Fill with the cooled quince. Top with your favourite crumble mixture, bake and serve with a dollop of honeyed greek yoghurt. Bliss!


  • #1
    September 13th, 2010

    Lovely photos!!!! I love quince paste but this crumble looks even more appetizing!

  • #2
    September 13th, 2010

    Hahaha I was halfway through reading this post and feeling uber guilty! But it turned out so great! Isn’t magical that such a furry ugly fruit turns into that?? Love it!

  • #3
    September 13th, 2010

    I think it’s magical that something so lacking in physical appeal can transform into something almost entirely different. Not sure I’d challenge myself with the effort involved, but I applaud your courage (or is it curiosity?).

  • #4
    September 14th, 2010

    I dont even know what quince looks like let alone cook with it! lol The crumble looks really yummy! and well done for your mighty triumph! hehehe

  • #5
    September 14th, 2010

    ohhhh when i see quince, i think quincy jones.

  • #6
    September 16th, 2010

    I love quinces! Paricularly how they magically transform into brilliant ruby jewels! However I have only ever slow cooked them and had them with vanilla icecream – this crumble tart looks great!

  • #7
    September 24th, 2010

    I love quince, and this post makes me miss winter, only a little 🙂

Shez