Quince tarte tatin


  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time1 hr
*PLUS chilling time, Serves: 8
Quince tarte tatin

Quince tarte tatin. (Photo, Erik Putz.)

Chatelaine Triple Tested

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

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