This quince and vanilla puree crumble tart was inspired by the fact that not only is it Autumn (and there’s nothing better than serving crumble on a chilly autumnal evening) but it’s also International Real Vanilla Day on the 17th October. I do love it when the stars align to create something special and this tart is very special. Quince are ready and hanging heavy on the trees right now and apparently it’s been a bumper crop this year. I’ve actually never cooked with quince before but I know it’s very popular with the jelly and jam brigade (check out these amazing recipes by Karen from Lavender and Lovage) and of course I love Membrillo served with cheese but I’ve never before had the opportunity. Fortunately my lovely friend at our local pub The Railway Tavern gave me a bag of fruit that she was given by another mutual friend. (Don’t you love this village life?)
This Saturday – October 17th – marks a special date for many bakers. Since 2014, the 17th has been National Real Vanilla Day, a UK-based celebration of sustainability, of farmers and of flavours, and of everything LittlePod , the makers of fabulous vanilla products stands for. This October, however, they’ve decided to do things differently. In 2020, for the first time, they’re expanding their campaign, going global and making National Real Vanilla Day international. In doing so, they’re also introducing LittlePod Japan – for International Real Vanilla Day will have its official launch in Tokyo! Check out their website for more info.
I’m really passionate about this because our shopping choices should never be underestimated. The products we choose can make a big difference to the planet and to people and communities all over the world. Given all that is going on in the world, real vanilla has never been more important or more needed. Using real vanilla and eschewing artificial essences has never been easier. LittlePod’s natural vanilla paste is a convenient and accessible option for all.
- 1.5kg quinces, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (this weight is once they’ve been peeled, cored and chopped)
- 350ml water
- 175g caster sugar
- the zest and juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla (I’m using the incredible natural vanilla paste from Little Pod.)
- 2 tbsp cornflour and a little water to mix
for the almond and yoghurt pastry
- 140g butter , diced
- 200g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- 75g caster sugar
- zest 1 lemon
- 1 egg , plus 1 egg yolk
for the crumble topping
- 100g plain flour
- 75g rolled oats
- 75g caster sugar
- 140g butter , diced
To make the quince purée, put the chopped, peeled and cored quinces into a large pan with the water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour or until the quinces change to an orangy colour and are pulpy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. Pass the quince purée through a sieve into a clean pan and stir in the sugar, lemon zest and juice, and real vanilla paste. Cook the purée until it is reduced by one-third, then mix the cornflour with a little water and stir into the purée until it’s thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 160C. To make the pastry, rub the butter and yoghurt into the flour and almonds. Add the sugar and zest, then the egg and the egg yolk. Bring everything together, wrap in cling film and chill for 15 mins.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to line a 22cm tart tin. Place in the tin, trim the edges of the pastry if required, and chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake blind for 20 mins. Remove the beans and paper, then cook for a further 15 mins until the base is biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Increase oven to 180C. Meanwhile, to make the crumble topping, mix the flour, oats and sugar with a pinch of salt, then rub in the butter until you have an uneven crumbly mix.
To assemble the tart, pour the quince purée into the tart shell so it comes just below the top, sprinkle over the crumble topping and cook for 25-30 mins or until the crumble is golden and the quince is bubbling around the edges.
Eat and of course, enjoy!