Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Apple and Quince Crisp with Rum Raisins

I play favorites when it comes to fruits. Perhaps it's because I far prefer vegetables (weird, I know), but my fruit consumption, as a rule, is rather limited.  I tend to stick with what I know and like, peaches and blueberries at the top of my list. So when I received a bag of pineapple quince from Melissa's Produce I was a bit knocked off the track. Firstly, I had to identify them and, secondly, figure out how to use them to their best advantage.

For the uninformed (like me), a quince precedes the apple in culture, dates back to Biblical times, and may have been the actual fruit exchanged between Adam and Eve. A hard, yellowish, fragrant fruit, it comes from a tree that has its roots (if you'll pardon the pun) in the rose family.  Quinces are loaded with pectin and, as such, are exceptionally useful when making jam. The flavor is unique, being a combination of apples and pears, and it is eaten cooked wherein the white flesh becomes a blushing pink.

I searched for recipes and came upon this one. Because I was only serving a small crowd, I cut the recipe in half. Because I am more about the topping than the interior when it comes to fruit desserts, I did not cut the crisp part in half. (Grin) I also substituted brown sugar for white in the topping and added a pinch of cardamom.

A wonderful fall dessert, I like it served warm with a scoop of ice cream.  This dish is a bit labor intensive, but various components can be made a day ahead.  And, as it seems to improve with age, make it a day prior to serving and warm it in a low oven before doing so. 

Apple and Quince Crisp with Rum Raisins
Bon Appétit, November 2007
Rum Raisins:
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup dark rum

Crisp Topping:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 pounds quinces (about 5 medium), peeled, quartered, cored
4 large Gala apples, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

For rum raisins:
Simmer raisins and rum in small saucepan 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Ignite with match; let flames burn out, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons liquid to small bowl for crisp topping.

For crisp topping:
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer until butter is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Cool.

Mix flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Add browned butter and 2 tablespoons reserved liquid from rum raisins; stir until moist clumps form. DO AHEAD: Raisins and topping can be made 1 day ahead. Cover each; chill.

For filling:
Combine 4 cups water and 3 cups sugar in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add quinces; simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Remove from syrup; cool. Reserve syrup for another use. Cut quinces into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to large bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add apples, lemon juice, flour, salt, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and rum raisin mixture to bowl with quinces; toss to blend. Transfer to baking dish. Crumble topping over.

Bake apple and quince crisp until golden and bubbling, about 55 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream or ice cream. 

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Unknown said...

This sounds absolutely divine! I have not had fresh quince before- Im going to have to track some down!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Patti,
This looks like a great dessert! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen