In season: Quince and walnut tart

Quince and walnut tart. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Quince and walnut tart. Photo by Linda Robertson.

This is a fantastic tart to celebrate quinces and walnuts, a truly autumnal delight.

Quince and walnut tart
Makes one 23cm tart 200g quince paste



120g unsalted butter at room temperature, diced
75g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2 egg yolks
250g plain flour
2 Tbsp cold water

Or you can use ready-rolled sweet pastry

Walnut filling

200g softened butter
200g sugar
200g ground walnuts or half and half with ground almonds
2 large eggs



To begin, the sweet pastry: In a large bowl, mix the soft butter and icing sugar to a cream, then beat in the egg yolks and add the flour. With your fingertips rub the butter mixture and flour together to achieve a crumbly texture (this can be done in the food processor). Add the water and press the mixture together to form a ball. With the palms of your hands, knead the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is blended (maximum 30 seconds). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes (this helps the dough lose its elasticity).

Line a 23cm tart tin by rolling the pastry on a lightly floured bench. Roll the pastry evenly into a circle to fit your tart tin, about 3mm thick. Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it over your tin. With one hand lift the pastry and with the other gently tuck it into the bottom edge of the tin so that it fits tightly. Be careful not to stretch it. Cut off excess pastry by rolling the pin over the top edge of the tin. Take a small ball of pastry and gently press it all around the base of the tart to ensure a snug fit. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps prevent shrinkage during cooking).

Preheat oven to 160degC.

Cooking the pastry: Line the pastry case with tinfoil and fill with dried beans, pushing them against the side. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out both foil and beans.

Return the tart tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 140degC.

Meanwhile, to make the walnut filling: In a medium-size bowl, soften the butter and cream together with the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition. Add the ground walnuts (and almonds if using) and mix gently to combine.

To assemble; spread the quince paste evenly over the base of the pastry. Spoon on the walnut mixture and gently push around to cover most of the quince. As it cooks it will spread out.

Bake in preheated 140degC oven for 35-45 minutes or until firm to touch.

Cool before serving.


 • Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.



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