Thursday, November 26, 2009

A neighbourhood reprieve and Quince Frangipane Tart for Thanksgiving!

'Ello, 'Ello!!!
YEA!!! These beauties were saved from the table this Thanksgiving by my lovely neighbour Rita, she was planning on having them for dinner but decided they were just too friendly and gorgeous to say "goodbye" to....good on ya Rita, they are a lovely rafter or gang (correct group name!) of turkey's.... just look at those faces!! Their colours are, blue and red...very handsome...
...and below is one of their witty and ever so sweetly noisy companions, they make a little trilling sound...a guinea fowl, aren't their faces adorable...they really do look like clowns with serious stage make-up and funny little hair do's.
In celebration of their reprieve I made a quince frangipane's rather like the Bakewell tart I did a while ago, in fact VERY like it with basically the addition of grated quince. I actually found these quince at Hannaford's. They were incredibly underripe...very green... but they did have a good smell which apparently is indicative of the possibility that they may indeed ripen. I waited until they were as yellow as I think they were ever going to get, and they smelled quite fragrantly of pineapple. Quince must be cooked in order to be eaten, they are mealy and astringent when raw, if you poach them they turn a delicate pink.

Here is the recipe:

Tart shell from Martha, a pate brisee...extremely reliable, very good, stays crisp, I've added more sugar than the recipe says and it's a good addition. The recipe here is for one 8-9" shallow pie but I made two small tarts with the same amount.

1 1/4 cups of white flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick (4ozs) butter I always use salted, VERY cold
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice cold water

1. Sift the flour

2. Grate the butter into the flour.

3. Gently work butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal.

4. Add some of the water and test to see if it comes together, if not keep adding water until the dough will squush into a non-sticky ball.

5. Put into the fridge to rest whilst you make the filling.

The frangipane:
3 1/2 ozs almonds, toasted

3 1/2 ozs butter softened

1 3/4 ozs white flour unbleached

3 1/2 ozs white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract/essence

2 ripe quince - peeled, cored and grated

Some apricot preserves....the amount depends on your tastebuds


1. When the almonds have cooled after toasting grind them either in a coffee grinder in small batches with some of the flour in each batch to stop the nuts becoming oily or do all the almonds and all the flour in a food processor until fine.

2. Add the sugar and extracts.

3. Mix in the softened butter very well.

4. Add the beaten eggs and mix.

5. Mix in the grated quince and set mixture aside.

NEXT: Roll out the pastry and line your chosen case/s - dock/prick small holes in the pastry with a fork  so it doesn't puff up during baking, line with some parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weights - blind/pre-bake the pieshell for about 12 minutes in a 400F oven.

Allow the pieshell to cool and spread the desired amount of apricot preserves over the bottom...I like just a smattering to give a little tang to the may have more if you like, I give you permission to do so!! Tee hee.

NOW: Spread the frangipane on top of the preserves and spread evenly.

Bake in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes or until the whole top of the tart is golden brown and the mixture is obviously set.

Allow the tart to cool, it definitely tastes best at room temperature.

The quince adds a very unusual but not strange delicate, almost perfumey taste to the tart...something you haven't quite tasted before but yet it is somehow familiar. Well worth hunting around for this odd combination of apple and pear shaped fruit, which are only available at this time of the year.



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