Tag Archives: quince

Flaky, Buttery Pie Crust … Sweet and Savoury Fillings

Because you can never have ENOUGH pie crust recipes, I gave this one a try … half unsalted butter and half lard. The blogger who posted the recipe, used shortening, which I didn’t have, as she claims that using the two different fats takes advantage of the best characteristics of each.

Sweet Pie … apple and quince filling

I haven’t bought quinces in years and at the exorbitant price of the imported ones ($2.49 each), I wasn’t about to make a whole pie out of them. But, I was able to combine one perfectly poached quince (green bumpy looking fruit on the right in the picture below) with three Braeburn apples (on sale at $1.15 a pound) to produce a tasty filling to test out my latest pie crust recipe.

The pie recipe I used was based on this one with some changes. I’ve included it below so it’s all in one place.

Apple-Quince Pie – makes 1 9-inch pie, serves 6 generously or 8 more moderately

pie pastry, enough for a top and bottom crust

Poached Quinces

1-2 lg quinces, peeled and diced *
1 cup water
3-4 tbsp honey
pinch of salt

Rest of Filling

3-4 lg apples, peeled and diced**
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

* 1 quince (~250 gm)
** 3 apples (~675 gm), Braeburns

Poaching the quince/s

Combine the water, sugar, salt and diced quince(s). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the quinces are crisp-tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove the fruit to a large bowl and let cool. Continue cooking the liquid, uncovered, until it reduces to about 1/4 cup.

Preheat the oven to 500 deg F with a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest shelf level.

Making the filling

In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add the chopped apples to the bowl with the cooled quince. Sprinkle the sugar/flour/spice mixture over the fruit and gently stir in the thickened quince liquid. Pour the filling into the pie bottom.

Add the top crust, seal and crimp the edges. Cut slashes in the crust.

Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet, turn the heat down to 425 deg F and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Reduce the heat to 375 deg F and continue cooking until the filling bubbles and the crust is golden brown, another 45-55 min.

Remove the pie pan to a cooling rack until it’s come to room temperature. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hrs and preferably overnight before cutting into the pie.

Savoury Tart … spinach and paneer (cheese) tart

Because I’m a cheap frugal home cook, I rolled out the trimmings from the apple and quince pie to form a top crust for a spinach and paneer tart. For the base, I used a mini pie shell from the freezer. It was made with the leftover pastry from my PREVIOUS pie bake … a nectarine crumble.

I wasn’t sure how much filling I would need so I threw together something that came out pretty well.

Spinach and Paneer Tart – makes 1 mini pie, enough for 2 generous servings

pie pastry, enough for a bottom crust, divided in half

1/2 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (~64 gm)
140 gm paneer cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
2 tbsp whipping cream, or regular milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 425 deg Fahrenheit. Adjust the shelf in the oven so it’s at the lowest position. Place a baking sheet in the oven so that it will preheat as well.

Roll out the dough for the base. Line a disposable aluminum mini pie tin leaving about 1/2 inch of excess pastry. Roll out the top so there’s about an inch of excess pastry.

Assemble the filling ingredients. Fill the base, add the top crust, folding over and crimping closed. Cut several slits for the steam to escape.

Place the tart on the baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

REVIEW: I found that the pie crust recipe lived up to its name … it IS both flaky and buttery. It’s easy to make, tasty and will remain in my recipe collection. The fillings of both the sweet and savoury variations were delicious as well.

Early October Wrap Up

I haven’t had a lot of inspiration for cooking in the last couple of weeks, and I’m just getting over a bad cold. A woman’s got to eat, however. Luckily, I threw a few things together before it got too bad.

I used the same basic dough recipe that I made those pumpkin and kaiser-shaped rolls with, but I left out the ground oats and threw in an egg and 1/4 cup of sugar. About 1/3 of the dough (300 gm) was rolled out and cut into six strips to wrap around Jumbo hot dogs … for pigs in blankets.

NOTE: Shaping and baking instructions found at link above.

I was going to make caramel rolls with some of the remaining dough but it turned out I didn’t have any caramel sauce in the fridge (just fudge sauce). So I got creative with the leftover cranberry sauce in my fridge and some quince jam from the pantry.

  

I transferred some of the cranberry sauce onto the quince jam portion, cause there was just too much sauce to roll up without it all oozing out. Originally, I was going to make two distinct fillings.

Icing sugar, softened butter and milk glaze

Close-up of crumb inside the rolls

Pantry chili with veggies from the crisper drawer and canned small red kidney beans and diced tomatoes (with herbs and spices). Served over or with those piggy buns.

   

Pasta is always a quick meal like this Shrimp aglio e olio over leftover linguine.  Sometimes finely minced garlic sauteed in olive oil is all you need to dress your pasta. And a sprinkle of pepperoncini (dry hot red pepper flakes). Cooking the pasta takes longer than cooking the shrimp and making the sauce.

Brunch – I love fried eggs over easy and bacon. For breakfast, lunch OR dinner. And some sort of dairy … like cottage cheese, or cream cheese if I can’t get that. Sometimes I pile it on top of toasted home made bread.

  

Red pepper hummus with home made sourdough tortillas for a quick snack or part of brunch

There’s still the weekend left for more cooking, but I think I’ll wrap things up here.

Baked Jam Donuts … 2 recipes

My donuts come from a local bakery these days cause I can get just ONE and it’s a nice treat when I’ve had a bad day or week. I’ve made them myself but, as always, frying keeps me from making them too often. So, a recipe for a baked donut seemed too good to be true. And I don’t mean those cake-y horrors but REAL yeast donuts.

Both of the recipes came from Zsuzsa’s web site … cause if you want a real donut, go to a Hungarian/Austrian/German etc. They know what they’re doing. 🙂

The link to this Austrian version came from a recommendation made by a visitor to her baked donut post, while the 2nd recipe is Zsuzsa’s creative adaptation/modification.

Austrian Baked Jam Donuts (Buchteln) – filled with cubes of quince paste. Other popular jams used include apricot, plum or rose hip as well as poppy seed, Nutella, Dulce de leche, lemon curd or sweetened cream cheese


Zsuzsa’s Baked Jam Donuts (Lekvaros Fank Sutoben Sutve) – filled with seedless blackberry jam


Poached Quinces and Quince Paste (Membrillo)

PICTURE HEAVY POST

Note the technical writing showing up in the paragraph below:

South-western Ontario is a major producer of field crops ranging from tobacco to soy beans and tomatoes and vineyards abound as do orchards filled with apples and pears. Less commonly found are quinces which combine elements of both apples and pears. Unlike these two however, you can’t eat quinces out of hand. Baked or boiled/poached, the tannic creamy pale fruit turns into a tender pale pink fruit which can be used in pies, on tarts and processed into jam, jelly or a thick paste/cheese. The latter is known as membrillo in Spain where it is served with an actual cheese, Manchego, especially as part of tapas or pinchos.

It’s also popular in Italy, Portugal, Mexico as well as a number of South American countries.

Shot of the creamy interior of the raw fruit

Years ago I baked quinces and served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but a recent purchase of the fruit led me to be a bit more adventurous.

Poaching the fruit in a spicy sugar syrup which contained lemon juice/sliced lemon, whole cloves, star anise and vanilla pods resulted in a delicious dessert when served over drained yogurt with a drizzle of wildflower honey and a scattering of toasted pine nuts.

Putting a parchment lid on the sliced fruit in the poaching liquid and weighing it down with a plate helps to submerge the fruit so as to cook it until it’s tender.

Poached fruit in canning jar

Poached fruit served over yogurt – strain the yogurt for a firmer and creamier dessert

I transformed some of my poached fruit into quince paste or membrillo. I didn’t want to stand over the stove for an hour or so stirring the pureed fruit until it thickened, so I threw the fruit and sugar into a microwave safe bowl and cooked it until it darkened in colour and thickened, stirring every couple of minutes. I poured the mixture into a plastic wrap lined container and let it set until firm. The paste can be cut into wedges or cubes and turned into appetizers.

These little boats are toasted sliced baguettes with Manchego cheese and quince paste on top. A half slice of Genoa salami forms the ‘sail’