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tea roasted quince & macadamia tart

June 12, 2013

quince and macadamia tart

Sometimes there is no story.

No pithy anecdote with semi-verbatim he-said, she-said.

No celebration or commiseration, landmark, milestone or other salubrious event that has given rise to a recipe.

Sometimes (albeit more and more infrequently these days) there is just me. Me, my kitchen and some ingredients that are crying out for attention – or, at the very least, the promise that they will not fall deserted into the wasteland that is my pantry. And sometimes, if the hour is right and the week allows me a rare Wednesday off, magic happens.

 

These tarts took two weeks to make.

(Not that they’ll take you two weeks to make, oh no.)

But two weeks they took.

quince and macadamia tart

On the first day, I impulse bought some quince. They were yellow and a little bit bruised, but they had kept their fur, were only $4 for four and I was so cold that I needed an excuse to turn the oven on.

On days two to five, I came down with a cold that would have me sniffling and moping under covers.

quince and macadamia tart

On day six, I recovered enough to realise that my once-slightly-sad quince were now verging on the actually-quite-sad and in need of either preservation or quick disposal. So I made a sugar syrup and put it off another day.

On day seven I roasted them.

quince and macadamia tart

 

On days eight through to thirteen, I ran my business, my parents business and then subsequently ran myself into a Chinese-takeaway-for-dinner-again-did-I brush-my-hair-this-morning-what-do-you-mean-you-can’t-work-today sort of rut. And by rut I mean mad panic. In between it all, I squeezed in an evening with Eamon Sullivan and Colin Fassnidge and walked away with a basket of macadamias and a holiday to Byron Bay (thanks to Australian Macadamias, you legends).

As you do.

And so it was that on day fourteen, a whole two weeks after I started this recipe, that I bit into the completed tart for the first time.

And then I danced the dance of a girl who had miraculously recovered from whatever ailed her.

quince and macadamia tart

 

The quince take a long time in the oven. Granted. But you could pop them in one morning and forget about them until lunchtime if you liked.

The pastry is a soft, squishy mess of annoyance on a warm day, but the weather these days is cool and so are your hands, and the silky, buttery flavour of macadamias that permeates throughout makes it more than worthwhile. As does the way it crumbles at the slightest pressure from a fork and dissolves into a molten mess on your tongue.

quince and macadamia tart

The frangipane is a cinch. Easy. Stupidly so. Especially when you consider how richly nutty and complex it is. The slightest sweetness intermingled with a bitter, earthy breath.

They will ask you if you bought it from a shop. They will ask you if they can keep the leftovers. And, if you happen to leave it over a long weekend at your parents’, they will ask you to please bring another the next time you visit. Please?

quince and macadamia tart

sweet tea oven roasted quince
 
Ingredients
  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 tea bag (or loose leaf tea of your choice)
  • 4 quince
  • 1 big bowl of water with a few drops of lemon juice in it
How to make it
  1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, over a medium heat until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add the teabag and set aside (off the heat) for a few hours or overnight, until cool.
  2. Wash the quince, making sure all of the fuzz is removed from the skin. Â Cut the quince into quarters, and then again into half to make eighths. Remove the core from each slice, putting the cut pieces of quince into the big bowl of acidulated water as you work so they don't go brown.
  3. Find yourself a large, cast iron dish with a lid (or a heavy bottomed roasting tray with a good amount of foil). Place the drained quince into the bottom, trying not to allow the slices to overlap too much, and pour the tea syrup on top. Roast in a 160C oven for at least four hours. You can tell that the quince is done as it will go from a pale yellow to ruby red and be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Once the quince is cool, transfer to a non-metallic container and refrigerate in the syrup from the roasting dish until you are ready to make the tart.

 
macadamia cream pastry
 
Ingredients
  • 50g whole macadamias
  • 200g butter (cold)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cream
How to make it
  1. Place the macadamias into a food processor and pulse until they resemble bits of cooked cous cous. Add the butter and flour and pulse until all of the ingredients start to come together into a ball. Add the cream all at once and pulse again until the pastry is a shiny ball, but without over working the dough. Roll the pastry together with your hands (it will be sticky) and press it down into a circle, about 1 inch thick before wrapping it in cling film and putting it in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden up.
  2. Remove the pastry from the cling film and roll it out in between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 3mm thick. Line your tart tins with the pastry, leaving about half a centimetre of overhang (I used a 22cm fluted round tin and two smaller tins as well) before putting them in the freezer for another 15 minutes to really harden up.
  3. Meanwhile, make the frangipane (recipe below).
  4. Prick the bases of the tart shells and then blind bake in 200c oven for fifteen minutes. Remove the weights and then bake for a further 10 minutes. There should be a little bit of colour on the pastry and it should firm up when it cools.

macadamia frangipane
 
Ingredients
  • 100g macadamias
  • 50g butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g LSA meal (or almond meal)
How to make it
  1. In a food processor or blender, pulverise the macadamias until they form a thick paste.
  2. Transfer the macadamia past to the bowl of a mixer and add the butter and sugar. Whisk the three ingredients together until they are light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat the mixture again until it is smooth.
  4. Stir in the LSA Meal (or beat on low) until it is all well combined.
  5. Take the blind baked tart shell and fill it with frangipane mixture, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top for overflow.
  6. Arrange the quinces on top of the frangipane mixture. Some of the mixture might overflow, so be careful when pressing down.
  7. Place the tart tins onto a baking tray to catch any overflow, then return to a 175C oven and bake the small tarts for about 20mins and the large tart for about 45 minutes, or until the frangipane is cooked through.

 


  • #1
    koji
    June 12th, 2013

    macadamia pastries. what sorcery is this!!!

  • #2
    Bigbite
    June 12th, 2013

    Best ever… 🙂

  • #3
    June 17th, 2013

    So beautiful. I wouldn’t even want to eat it because it’s so pretty!

  • #4
    June 19th, 2013

    Very classy photos! My problem with quince is that I love how their aroma permeates the kitchen, so I can’t bear to use them…until they get to the actually-quite-sad stage. Glad the head cold has departed – happy dancing!

  • #5
    June 24th, 2013

    Love everything about this.

  • #6
    June 28th, 2013

    Macadamias in pastry and the frangipane, pure magic! Well done on saving the sad quinces and turning them into a masterpiece.

  • #7
    September 16th, 2013

    This tart looks gorgeous. I had to come and visit the recipe after seeing it on the Eat, Drink, Blog comp! Yum

  • #8
    October 23rd, 2013

    Great recipe Chez! Would love to feature this one on our Facebook page with your permission.

Shez