Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quince (kdoule) Frangipani Tart

As the quince, that we got from the Penzion in Lednice (see earlier postings), slowly ripened we had an idea that it would be grand if poached and then made into a Frangipani Tart. Usually we poach pears from our trees in St. Paul and make a Frangipani Tart from those, but the ruby-colored quince would be quite the thing for a festive holiday dessert!

Quince (kdoule) Frangipani Tart

So, we poached peeled 4 quince (coring comes later after they're poached....they're rock-hard inside) in 1liter of Bohemian Seco from Old Plzen, along with zest and juice from 1 lemon, two small stick of cinnamon, and 1 vanilla bean split open (and scraped to get the seed pod contents into the liquid. Poach these slowly for 3-4 hours until the quince are tender but not soft.  Drain and cool.

The liquid should be a lovely ruby color by now (remember that quince oxidize while cooking, turning the tannins into anthocyanins; see earlier posting!). Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean halves; slowly reduce the liquid until you have a nice thick reduction sauce. Save this for drizzling over the top of the tarts once they're baked.

Now it's time to make the frangipani portion, which is almond paste (or thin Marzipan) as a base.  Whir in your food processor either 500 g Marzipan or 2 cups roasted, blanched almonds, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup Vajecny (Bohemian egg nog) or heavy cream. 
Have a sip of Vajecny while this is blending, if need be!

Then prepare your Pate Brisee (see earlier postings for recipe, if you need it) dough. Roll it out and put into small tart pans. We're making 4 tarts, for which you will only need 4 poached quince halves:
Pour the Frangipani mixture evenly into all of your tart pans, such that a layer ~0.5 - 1" thick layer is present at the bottom of each tart pan.

Next, cut the poached quince in half lengthwise. Scoop out the stem and ovaries/seeds as well as any hard sclerenchyma tissue (quince have these hard sclereids just like pears do....). You see how the quince turns ruby in color after cooking:
Take the quince and carefully slice it in very thin slices until the half is completely sliced. You'll need a very sharp knife to do this with. Then, gently lift the entire half section of sliced quince up
and place it into the tart shells. Fan the thin slices out and gently push them down into the Frangipani mixture but do not completely cover them.
Bake at 325-350F or ~150C for 1.5 hours or until browned and a toothpick inserted into the Frangipani comes out clean.  Cool.

 Then, warm the reduction that you have already made....such a lovely ruby color, eh?!
And drizzle it over the tops of the tarts.
Voila!  Quince Frangipani Tart....
Whip up some heavy cream with sugar and lemoncello liquer and serve on the side along with a slice of the tart.
Happy eating!

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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