If you haven't cooked with quince before this pie should be all the persuading you need.
Quince are the most beautiful fruit, a real highlight of the winter larder. To look at they're pretty weird, all yellow and bulbous, and raw they are so sour they're inedible. But cook them up and treat them with a bit of TLC and they become something truly delicious.
Quince also contains high levels of pectin (the stuff that makes jam set) which makes it perfect for a fruit filling of this type.
SPICED QUINCE PIE
For the pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 150g butter
- 80g sugar
- 2 x large egg yolks
- 1 x egg
For the filling
- 1kg quince
- 1lt water
- 4 x star anise
- 2 x cinnamon sticks
- 500g caster sugar
- 3 heaped tsp corn flour
- Quarter the quinces and remove the core and seeds (but leave the skin on). Put into a large saucepan with the water and spices and simmer for 45 mins or until the quince are beautifully soft.
- To make the pastry crumb together by hand the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the egg yolks and mix together until the pastry forms a ball, if it feels dry add some cold water a teaspoon at a time. Put the pastry in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the quince is cooked remove the spices and transfer to a blender. Blend on high speed until you get a smooth puree. Pass through a sieve to remove any lumps and back into a saucepan. Add the sugar and corn flour and heat until boiling.
- Boil the puree for 30 minutes until it thickens and goes from a pale yellow to a rosy pink.
- Roll out the pastry and line a greased and lined 20cm pie tin. fill with parchment and baking beans or cooked rice and bake in an oven at 170C for 10 minutes. At this point remove the parchment and turn down to 130C to dry out the base for 20 - 30 minutes or until it looks golden brown.
- Once the pie crust has cooled a little pour in the fruit filling and top with the remaining pastry, in whatever design you wish! Brush with egg wash and bake for 45 minutes at 140C. Allow to cool before turning out, slice and serve with yoghurt, creme fraiche or clotted cream if you're feeling naughty.