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Hazelnut Quince Tartlets, Tea Time Style

Quinces are one of the fruits I miss the most since I moved to South Carolina. My mom used to make the best quince jelly and I remember freely spreading it on fresh bread, spooning it into my yogurt in the morning. Little did I know back then that I would have such a difficult time finding it here and that the mere thought of it would send me into severe nostalgia!

Marce’s post a couple of weeks ago made me come up with these little tartlets. I could taste the quince in her tart right through the monitor screen. I left a comment saying that I had found quinces, but at $1.99 a quince (yes, you read right) I was really hesitating investing just to satisfy a nostalgic craving! Well, I broke down and bought one…yep, just one…It was small, but smooth and fragrant and my little orphan quince was nice enough to allow me to make 4 little tartlets, perfect for an afternoon tea.

I first thought about making quince tartlets after seeing a picture in this wonderful and magic book, La Cuisine des Fees. Each recipe is inspired by a dish featured in a well known fairy tale and here the character of the "King of tartelettes " in "L Oiseau de Verite" by E. Le Noble inspired beautiful round glistening quince tarts.
Well, the recipe required 4 plump fruits and my single quince needed to be stretched further than that! I made a hazelnut shortbread dough for the tartlets base and carefully sliced and roasted thin slices of the quince with some spices and in no time at all, I had the best four-bite snack, satisfying my craving and sending me back to the time I used to put a stool by the stove and help my mom stir the quince jam she was making.

Quince Tartlets, inspired by La Cuisine des Fees:

Serves 4

For the dough:

170 gr. flour (6 oz)
60 gr. powdered sugar (2 oz)
100 gr butter, at room temperature (3 1/2 oz)
1 egg white
40 gr skinned hazelnuts (3 1/2 oz)
pinch of salt

In a food processor, place the hazelnuts and powdered sugar and pulse until finely ground. add the flour, egg white, salt and butter and pulse until the dough just comes together. Gather into a ball, flatten it between two sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. This can be prepared the day before.
When ready to use, roll the dough out in between the sheets of plastic wrap as it becomes soft and sticky very fast. Cut out 4 inch rounds with a cookie cutter.
Bake at 350 F until light golden. Let cool while you prepare the quince.
Bake cookies with the remaining dough or save and freeze for another project.

For the roasted quince:

1 quince, cored, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 Tb butter
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tb brown sugar

Layer the slices in a baking dish, sprinkle with the spices and sugar. Add the butter into small pats all over. Roast at 350 F, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To assemble: divide the quince slices evenly among the tartlet bases and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be great with it too!

You can be sure that the day quinces go on sale, this little Tartelette is stocking up!

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Anh June 20, 2007 um 3:26 am

Helen, I loved poached quince. For several times now I have planned to bake quince tart. But I always end up finishing the poached quince even before touching the flour.

Now, I have seen you lovely version, I really need to get my act together!

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 4:32 am

Helen, these are absolutely divine! I still need to get around to tasting quince, I’ve never had it before but I’m dying to try!

Barbara June 20, 2007 um 4:48 am

We had such a short quince season here this year I’ve missed out. I make a tarte tartin with quince.

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 5:28 am

I have yet to have quince before. These look really lovely though!

Glenna June 20, 2007 um 6:03 am

Ooooohhhh, so pretty!

Rosa's Yummy Yums June 20, 2007 um 7:05 am

Those tartlets look gorgeous! I love quince and I’m sure that with the hazelnuts, it must taste heavenly…

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 7:29 am

These are a perfect example of what summer food should be – simple and fresh!
Thanks for the heads up on the Salad Stravangaza event too.

Nora B. June 20, 2007 um 7:35 am

Helen, those look delicious! Quince is just as expensive here, unless I go to the weekend markets. These tarts are way too tempting, I want some. But first I am going to make your canneles.

Nic June 20, 2007 um 7:55 am

I don’t think I’ve ever had any quince, but your recipe is going to have me looking for some now!
Thanks for posting your tartlet recipe.

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 8:03 am

These tartlets are gorgeous! I have never baked desserts with quinces. I guess that I will make this recipe first as soon as it’ll be the season for it.

Meeta K. Wolff June 20, 2007 um 9:36 am

Oh those are the cutest tartelettes ever. Boy those are high prices for quince. To be honest I have to get myself more in the habit of making things with quince – besides quince jam I really have not tried much. So, maybe I’ll go out and buy myslef one quince too, to make these tarts!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) June 20, 2007 um 10:28 am

I have a friend with a quince tree, and she’s always looking for new things to do with quince. She does make jam, but she ends up giving most of the fruit away to a friend who owns a restaurant in Providence. I think I’ll snare one this year and try these lovely little tarts.

Cheryl June 20, 2007 um 12:40 pm

I’ve never even seen quince in the stores.

Theses are just beautiful little tartlets

Aimée June 20, 2007 um 12:42 pm

Helen, these are sweet and I love the photos with that beautiful cloth under the tarts. So elegant!

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 12:54 pm

These look great! Such a charming use of a single quince.

Stella June 20, 2007 um 1:49 pm

Brilliant! I love the crust of your tartlets as well, not too thick, nor too thin. I wish I could have one!:)

Cynthia June 20, 2007 um 2:18 pm

I’ve heard of quince before but never had it or seen it in these parts. Tartlets look fab.

Cynthia June 20, 2007 um 2:19 pm

I meant to say fabulous 🙂

Kelly-Jane June 20, 2007 um 2:20 pm

They are so pretty, just the thing for afternoon tea.

I have real difficulty finding quince here, managed once but more experimentation is needed!

Julie June 20, 2007 um 3:13 pm

Those look wonderful, I have never tried using Quince before. I really should give it a try.

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 6:00 pm

These tartlets are so cute! I’ll have to keep an eye out for quinces now. I’ve never had one before but Marce’s post and now your post are making me want to try them! The price is pretty steep though. 🙁

Patricia Scarpin June 20, 2007 um 7:53 pm

I have never had quince, Helen, and now you’ve got me even more curious! 😉

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 8:03 pm

Hi Helen! These sound wonderful, although I have to admit that I’ve never tried quince either, but if you love it, then chances are that I do too!

Anonymous June 20, 2007 um 8:54 pm

I’ve never tasted quince, but you’ve sold me on them. I’ll be on the lookout now. Your tarts are lovely!

Anonymous June 21, 2007 um 12:37 am

Ooooooooooooooh! So pretty, so pretty, so pretty!

Anita June 21, 2007 um 1:56 am

Helen, such beautiful tarts! They all look so perfectly made! Btw, I love that you made Vietnamese coffee and a chocolate tart…we really do have the cosmic connection going!!:)

Elle June 21, 2007 um 3:14 am

Those are the cutest tarts. I’ll bet they smelled good too. Hazelnuts and quince are a great combination.
Our quince are ripe in the fall around October. I’ll try these then.

Anonymous June 21, 2007 um 3:34 am

wow, you really worked your magic with that single quince, Helen! I´ve never tried quince combined with anything other than lemon or cheese, so I´m very intrigued by your use or cardamom (the cinnamon I had considered because of the resemblance to apples). We should strike some sort of deal, I bring 3-dollars-for-4-pounds quinces and you cook with them 😉

Anonymous June 21, 2007 um 12:37 pm

ah oui, les coings. Trop chers ici, c’est bien vrai, surtout que le voisin de mes parents a un arbre qui en produit en masse! Entre toi et moi, on devrait ouvrir un traiteur specialite tartes!! Elles sont super mignonnes

MyKitchenInHalfCups June 21, 2007 um 3:55 pm

Geeze, the stirred longing, the creation, the mother memory, these would just have to be about the most wonderful quince tartlets ever! I just tried membrillo for the first ever time in London and it stole my heart!

Peabody June 22, 2007 um 3:28 pm

I love quince. Finding it in AZ was quite hard but luckily not up here.

Eva June 24, 2007 um 6:51 am

Now I know what to do with my leftover nut pastry – hopefully I can get some quince! Although I should also look for an electric chainsaw – I’m always having a hard time getting those damn fruits into little pieces…

Mimoza July 4, 2007 um 10:11 am

Hello,I saw your blogger before several minutes.I’m a Turkish woman.Recipe is different our meats,cake and others.But I’am trying some of them.Thanks.

couch556 July 4, 2007 um 3:31 pm

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