Pumpkin doesn’t have to be the only dessert flavor for the holiday table. These quince, apple and fig tarts (with rum) might start a new tradition. Or at least offer a nice change from the expected. And they’re easy.
The biggest deal with these tarts is to bake them long enough to get the fruit to almost melt and caramelize – it takes a while. It’s also worth buying little tart pans so that everyone gets their own little pie.
Quince is a weird little fruit. It looks somewhat like an apple but don’t let that fool you. It’s pretty darn tart and usually very crunchy (read: hard as a rock). Figs (in this case, fig jam) help to add not only flavor, but sweetness to the tart. All the flavors work together pretty well, including the fine addition of rum (which is absolutely optional).
It’s also a nice dessert to make ahead of time. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Heat up the tarts a bit before serving, just so they’re barely warm. To fancy up the plating, drizzle warmed honey in a ziggy zaggy pattern on a dessert plate. Top with a tart and add more honey drizzle on top of the tart if you want. Add a dollop of whipped cream if you like. It can be as dressy or as rustic as you want.
Where can you find little tart pans? Tart pans are everywhere, but many of them are junk. If you’re going to spend money, spend a little more and get good quality pans so they last for years. I like the (almost) 5″ removable bottom tin pans. You can find them here and in most of the Sur La Table stores. But if you have time and want to save money, try a baking supply/restaurant supply store. Here they are for almost half the cost. I know, right? While it isn’t necessary to get removable bottoms for the tarts, it is so much easier to pop the thing out of the pan.
Got company coming for the holiday? Want to impress oh say, the family MarthaStewartWannabe that you can do cool stuff without breaking a sweat? These are that dessert. Make them in little tart pans, drizzle the honey on a cute little plate, add a touch of whipped cream and no one will even wonder what happened to the pumpkin pie “Martha” brought.
|Quince Apple & Fig Holiday Tarts|| |
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 300 grams Canteen flour blend (2⅓ cups) (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 80 grams full fat cream cheese (1/3 cup)
- 108 grams Spectrum shortening (1/2 cup plus one tablespoon)
- 60-80 grams cold water (about ¼ to ⅓ cup)
- 2 large quinces, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 large tart apples, peeled and cubed (1/4 inch cubes)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 146 grams fig jam or preserves (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
- 25 grams dark rum (2 tablespoons) (optional)
- 2-4 tablespoons good quality honey, for drizzling
- In a small bowl mix sugar with cinnamon until combined and the mixture becomes cinnamon color, a nutty brown. In a food processor or large bowl pulse or whisk together flour, cinnamon/sugar and salt. Pulse in cream cheese and shortening or lightly blend together with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the water, a little at a time and pulse or mix, adding more water as needed just until the mixture turns into a ragged, smeary ball or comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and knead just until all the crumbs are incorporated and the dough is smooth. Divide dough into seven to eight even sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten between sheets of plastic wrap, rolling just larger than the 4 to 5-inch tart pans. Place dough into each tart pan and press to fit. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
- Melt butter in a large skillet. Add quince pieces, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until the quince begins to soften enough to pierce with a small knife. Add cubed apples, orange juice and 2 tablespoons of fig jam. Stir until mixture starts to caramelize and brown slightly. Off heat, add the rum. Return pan to the heat and cook until the alcohol evaporates. Cool slightly until just barely warm to the touch.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chilled crusts on a baking pan. Blind bake crusts for 12-15 minutes. Cool.
- Spread a heaping teaspoon of fig jam onto the center of each cooled crust. Spread gently. Spoon ¼ to ⅓ cup of filling on top of the jam heaping it a little bit just in the center. Top with a ½ teaspoon of jam in the center. Bake 45-55 minutes or until the filling is bubbling, the crust is golden nutty brown and some of the fruit pieces are beginning to blacken.
- Remove baking pan from the oven and brush with warmed honey while tarts are hot. Cool on a rack. They taste even better after resting in the refrigerator overnight (covered). Warm in a low oven (300°F for about 10-15 minutes). Serve slightly warm with additional drizzled honey and whipped cream. Makes 7-8 small tarts.