Author Notes: After so much chanting and talking about the splendour of my quinces and the luxuriant harvest of this year, I’ve finally managed to post a quince-related recipe. That, in this case, was purposely created to enter this pretty “sweet” contest. Unfortunately, I broke my leg so I couldn’t submit this recipe in time before the appointed deadline. All the same, I wanted to try it, so here it is.
For these tartelettes I was inspired by a Lebanese recipe for baked stuffed apples that employed rose water. I thought that rose water would be perfect with quinces, especially if enhanced by the warmth of spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
For the pie crust I used my mom’s traditional recipe that goes well with almost everything. —Rita Banci
For the pie crust
cups flour, sifted
ounces butter, at room temperature
pinches of salt
For the filling
ounces brown sugar
milliliters rose water
cardamom pods, seeds only
juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Start with making the pastry. On a smooth surface (preferably marble) pour flour, sugar, egg yolks and salt and knead with your hands until you form a dough (add flour if needed). Add lemon zest and knead again. Wrap the dough in a cooking plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Peel, core and cut the quinces into small cubes. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in sugar, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, cloves and aniseed. Toss the quince cubes and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Pour rose water and lemon juice; stir in lemon zest. Now cook for about 30 minutes till quinces are soft and tender. Stir in raisins and remove from heat.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it with a rolling pin over a surface sprinkled with flour. Spread the dough 0.5 cm high and cut it with round cutters (8-10 cm diameter).
- Grease a muffin mould with melted butter and sprinkle with flour. Place the dough rounds in each slot so to create a sort of little baskets. Pin with a fork. Fill the tartelettes with the quince mixture and bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve hot, preferably with some brandy butter or whipped cream.