Sunday, November 7, 2010
Quince and Goat Cheese Tart
This is a fantastic, rich and tangy dessert - I don't think I've ever made anything quite like it before. It's kind of like a cheesecake or a cheese danish, but with lots of fruit flavor, all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. I was inspired by a recipe in Deborah Madison's Local Flavors cookbook, but it called for creme fraiche (which I can never find) as well as ricotta (which I never have on hand), as well as making a crust with ground walnuts. I wanted something simpler, with less cheese and more quince and walnut goodness. Next time I think I might try even a bit less cheese (or maybe just leave out the cream), and fold the crust over the edges like a rustic tart.
1 pie crust
1 pint quince slices poached in syrup (see below)
4 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup cream
1 egg yolk (I'm not sure this is necessary)
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (or more) chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400F. Lay the pie crust in the pan and cover with foil, then weight it with another pie pan (or pie weights, or beans) and bake 15-20 minutes until it is golden brown. Turn oven down to 350. Whip the goat cheese, cream and egg(s) with the brown sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Lay the quinces in the bottom of the crust and pour the cheese mixture over them. Scatter walnuts over the top. Bake 30 minutes more, until the cheese is mostly solidified and lightly browned at the edges.
To prepare the poached quince slices: Core and cut 2 pounds of quinces in 1/4-inch wedges, add to 2 cups sugar in 6 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer until quinces are tender, about 45 minutes. It's super-easy to can them for later use... just put the quinces and syrup in clean canning jars, screw the lids on and set in boiling water bath for at least 10 minutes at sea level, 15-20 minutes at high altitude. After you remove them from the boiling water, you should hear the lids ping within a few hours, letting you know they are sealed - if they don't seal, just refrigerate them.