Quince tart

Quince tart

Torta di melecotogne

Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

There are many beautiful quince trees scattered around rural Puglia, which offer shade in the heat of the day as well as the delicious and fragrant fruit. This free-form tart uses slow-poached quince, but you can use any other poached or baked fruit. The piquancy of the quinces contrasts well with the sweetness of the pastry and the nuttiness of the filling. This tart is delicious served with good-quality creamy vanilla ice cream.


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 lemon
4 quinces
230g caster sugar
6 cloves
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
2 cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry dough, (see note)
1 egg
caster sugar, for sprinkling

Almond filling

Quantity Ingredient
100g butter, at room temperature
125g icing sugar, sifted
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
pinch salt
110g ground almonds


  1. Fill a bowl with water and squeeze in the lemon juice, then reserve the lemon half.
  2. Peel and slice the quinces thickly, reserving the quince seeds, and place the slices in the prepared lemon water while preparing the remaining quinces. Drain well.
  3. In a large baking tin, place the sugar, cloves, vanilla bean and seeds, ginger, quince slices and reserved quince seeds. Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Add 60 ml water to the tin and turn the quinces over. Shake the pan to combine all of the ingredients. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the quinces are caramelised and tender. If the quinces start to get dry, add a little more water. Remove from the oven, cover and allow to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, for the almond filling, cream the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the egg, vanilla, salt and ground almonds. Mix this into a soft paste, cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator to firm up for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  7. Roll out the prepared pastry on a floured surface into a 40 cm round. Transfer to a baking paper-lined 35 cm square baking tray and spread some of the prepared almond filling over the top, leaving a 10 cm border around the edges. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Place the cold baked quince on top of the almond filling and fold the outside of the dough up and over the fruit. Pleat the pastry edge over the quince to form a circle. (There will be a hole in the centre.) Press gently to seal the pleats.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the egg and brush it all over the edges of the pastry. Sprinkle a little caster sugar over the edges and bake for 45– 60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 30– 40 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.


  • For the pastry, mix 300 g ‘00’ flour, pinch of salt, 125 g caster sugar and zest of 1 lemon in a bowl and form a well in the centre. Cut 175 g butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of small peas. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix until the dough forms a ball.

    Form the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or longer if needed. The dough should be firm but pliable.
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