Our quince tree gave its first harvest ever this year, which is exciting. I picked them today, and my husband went looking for some new (to us) recipes that use quince.
He came across Tarta de Queso y Membrillo con Almíbar de Cardamomo—Cheese and Quince Tart with Cardamom Syrup. How could I resist?
It’s been a while since I followed a recipe in Spanish, so there was an added level of adventure for me making this recipe. I don’t think I ever bought or used azúcar flor (icing sugar) when we lived in Panama, so I had to look that one up.
Even in your native language, this is not a tart you whip out quickly—nothing using quince is, and this has lots of different things to prepare—but it is delicious! It’s essentially cheesecake with caramelised quince in a pie crust. What’s not to like?
I modified the recipe slightly—here’s my version, in English.
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 large or 6 small quince
1/4 cup brown sugar
25 g butter
1 Tbs cinnamon
Enough pie dough for 1 crust (see my pie dough recipe here)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup icing sugar
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 cardamom pods
Make your pie crust and refrigerate until needed.
Mix the ingredients for the cheese layer with a handheld mixer until well combined. Set aside.
Peel, core, and thinly slice the quince (you should have 7-8 cups of fruit). Place the quince, butter and brown sugar in a large skillet and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the quince has softened. Stir in the cinnamon.
Roll out the pie dough and line a pie or tart pan with it. Pour the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust. Layer the caramelised quince on top, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Bake at 190℃ for 40-45 minutes.
While the pie is baking, make the sugar syrup. Place the icing sugar, lemon juice and cardamom pods in a small saucepan and boil gently for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Drizzle over the pie when serving.
The recipe I used said to serve the tart warm, which is how we ate it this evening. But I’m looking forward to a second piece tomorrow, because I think it’ll be even better cold.
Next time I make this (because there will no doubt be a next time), I’ll crush the cardamom pods so that the syrup is more strongly flavoured. I also think it would be even more spectacular with a cup of ugni berries (Chilean guava) tossed into the quince mixture.
If you don’t have quince, this tart would be lovely made with apple or pear, too.