Simple pleasures

Quincey, pudding examiner

It’s cold outside, bleak, wintry. The pile of quinces on the kitchen counter hasn’t moved for a week and some of them are on the turn.
Unlike the pumpkins still on the windowsill these needed to be used quickly. 
A version of a Tarte Tatin seemed the solution, as it could well be for many of life’s problems.

Peel and core the quince, (about six or so went into this).
I used the peelings and cores to make a syrup: sugar, water, a cinnamon stick, a pinch of saffron– then poach them in water for about 15 minutes, until tender, but still firm to the touch. I then mixed them in about 4 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar left over from the ‘skillingsboller’ Maya and I made on Sunday which Noah then ate most of.

Then, proceed in the way you would if making an apple Tatin, that is to say melt and caramelise some sugar in a heavy, wide, oven-proof pan or tatin dish and layer the quince down. Cook for a few minutes before covering with the puff pastry* and gently tucking it in around the edges as if putting it to bed (you can also use shortcrust if you prefer, but you will be wrong).

Cook in a fairly hot oven (200c) for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Leave to cool for a while before turning out onto a plate, sprinkling over the hazelnuts and giving a drizzle of syrup if you have any. Serve with creme fraiche.

*Some frozen puff pastry (homemade is obviously better, but I didn’t fancy it today, and I had a roll to use up) defrosted and rolled a little thinner is fine for this and makes the whole thing a really quick yet impressive pudding.

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