Peel and core the quince. Chop the cored sections into 1/3 inch
pieces. Place the chopped quince, 4 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 cup
of sugar into a heavy-bottomed sauce pot and cook, over medium
heat, covered. Stir the quince every 3-5 minutes to make sure that it
is not sticking to the bottom. After about 20 minutes, turn the heat
to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for another 40 minutes. The quince is done when tender, darkened in color and there is
no more cooking liquid. Remove the quince from the heat and allow
it to cool to room temperature. You can cook the quince 1 day ahead
and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Adjust the oven rack to the bottom
third of the oven. Peel, core and wedge the apples. Using a very sharp
knife or mandolin, slice the apples as thinly as you can. Scrape the
cooled, cooked quince into your frozen tart shell and evenly distribute it over the bottom of the tart. Begin layering the apples over the
quince around the outer edge of the tart with about 1/5 of the apple
covering the rim of dough. Each slice should overlap the preceding
slice by half. Once you have made a full circle of apples around the
outer edge, begin a new circle closer to the center, overlapping the
outer circle with about 1/4 of the apple. Continue layering until you
have made a small central circle in the middle of the tart. If you are
making individual tarts, make 1 beautiful ring of overlapping apples.
In a small fry pan or sauce pot, brown the remaining 2 ounces of
butter. Gently drizzle the browned butter over the tart and sprinkle
the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Because you are baking a fruit tart where the crust has not been pre-baked, make sure your oven shelf is on the bottom third of the oven.
Place the tart in the oven and check after 40 minutes; if the apples
seem too dark or the outer rim of the crust seems overly brown, turn
the oven down to 350ºF. Bake the tart for 1 hour or until the apples
have caramelized, the filling is bubbling and the crust has browned.
Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes
before removing it from the tart ring. If you are baking small tarts bake
them for approximately 50 minutes, checking after 30 minutes.
FLAKY TART DOUGH
YIELDS ENOUGH FOR 11 1/2 INCH ROUND TART
11 tablespoons cold butter
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4-5 tablespoons ice water
In a stainless steel mixing bowl, toss together the flour, sugar and
salt. With a knife, cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Add the
diced butter to the sugar-flour mixture and using 2 knives or a pastry
cutter, chop and toss the butter simultaneously. Once all of the butter is pea-size and coated with flour, add the ice water and toss the
mixture lightly with a fork. The dough will not come together at this
point. It should still seem dry with a few moist clumps.
Empty the contents of the bowl onto a counter and use the heel
of your hand to smear the buttery lumps or wet clumps together
with the remaining dry flour. You are smearing the butter with the
dry ingredients to marble the butter into the dough, a technique
that produces a very flaky, light dough. You might need to repeat
this smearing and scraping process 1 or 2 times before the dough
comes together. Once the dough is moist enough to form a ball,
wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and press down on the plastic wrap
to form a flattened disc of dough. Refrigerate this dough for 2
hours or up to 1 day.
YIELDS 20-30 CHIPS
2 crisp red apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a 3 quart pot, bring the sugar, 1 cup of water and cream of
tartar to a boil. Allow it to simmer while you slice the apples.
Wash and dry the apples. With a knife, cut about 1/2 thick slice
off one end of the apple so that you begin slicing with a flat surface.
With a slicing machine, slice the apples into 1/16 inch cross sections.
If you do not have a slicing machine, you can use a mandolin. Slice
the apples as thinly as you can.
Immediately after slicing the apples, immerse them in the boiling
sugar syrup for approximately 1 minute. Stir the apples around with
your slotted spoon. Do not remove the apple slices until the syrup
has resumed a rapid boil. With a slotted spoon, remove the apple
slices and cool them on a wire rack that sits over a pan to collect the
liquid from the fruit.
Lay the apple slices, flat on your baking pans, making sure that
the apple slices do not touch or overlap. Bake them in a convection
oven if available, at 200ºF for 30-45 minutes. If you have a regular
oven, bake them at 225ºF for 40-50 minutes, making sure to rotate
the pans half way through baking. As soon as you take the apple
chips out of the oven, you must remove the individual apple slices