Quince tarte tatin



30 min


1 h

* PLUS chilling time, Serves: 8
Quince tarte tatin

Quince tarte tatin. (Photo, Erik Putz.)

Sweet, fragrant and available only at this time of year, these exquisite apple-like fruits are a little-known treat. Use them in an easy, classic French recipe for a stunning autumn dessert.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream , if desired


  • 3 small quinces , peeled, cored and cut into 48 slices
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • orange zest , from 1 orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Caramel sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter , grated


  • WHIRL flour with 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup butter and pulse until mixture looks crumbly. Add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the spout until dough comes together. Divide into 2 portions. Form into 4-in. discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 min.
  • COMBINE quinces with 1/2 cup sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until quinces are tender, about 15 min. Discard orange peel. Strain and reserve quince slices.
  • PREHEAT oven to 425F. Set aside 2 9-in. pie plates.
  • COMBINE 1 cup sugar with water, lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium saucepan and set over high. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture turns light brown, about 8 min. Immediately pour caramel into both pie plates and tilt plates to coat the bottoms. Scatter 1/4 cup grated butter evenly over caramel. Arrange overlapping quince slices on both plates.
  • ROLL out pastry discs until both are about 9 in. wide. Place each pastry round over filling and tuck edges around fruit (not over rim of pie plate).
  • BAKE in centre of oven until tops of pastry are dark golden and caramel is bubbly around edges, about 20 min. Transfer to a rack and let stand just until the bubbling stops, about 2 min. To remove tarts from pie plates, using oven mitts, hold a serving plate over a pie plate and invert. Gently shake pie plate to release tart. Spoon any extra caramel overtop. Cut each tart into 4 wedges. Serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 350,
  • Protein
  • 3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 47 g,
  • Fat
  • 18 g,
  • Fibre
  • 1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 220 mg.
  • Excellent source of
  • Vitamin A

Substitution tip: Instead of quinces, use 3 Honeycrisp apples. Reduce simmering time to about 5 min.