Quince and apple browned butter tart *

Quince tart

Do you like quinces? If so, make this tart.

Not sure if you like quinces? Doesn’t matter, make this tart.

Don’t like quinces? Make this tart anyway. Someone in your life will appreciate it.

It is deliciously delicious and worth the effort.


This tart has layers of poached quinces and apples, topped with a browned butter filling on a shortcrust pastry. It’s fruity, not too sweet, and caramelly from the browned butter.

I know I’m strongly encouraging everyone to make this, but at the same time I do feel the need to be honest.

Quince tart

It is a bit of work to put together, though mostly that’s hands off time. The quinces need to be poached first because they take a while, so this is best done the day before assembling the tart.

Pre tart

The quinces are poached them in a sugar syrup with some vanilla bean paste and lemon juice on the stove for several hours on a very, very low simmer. After they were ready (ie I got bored of waiting), I removed all the fruit to set aside to cool, and reduced the syrup to use for later.

Pouring the browned butter

The following day, I made shortcrust pastry and briefly poached some apple slices with the reserved quince cooking syrup. It’s best to use apples that don’t cook into mush – I used Granny Smiths.

Ready to bake

And finally (sort of) the browned butter filling.

It’s just made from melted butter, eggs, sugar and a bit of flour. Once the butter has browned, it develops glorious deep nutty flavours and eeeeeee is so good.

I may have taste tested a fair amount of the filling while I was pouring it into the tart…

The apple was then layered with the quince slices and topped with the browned butter filling.

Quince tart

Try and resist it, just try (don’t try). It is delicious. Make it.

Quince and apple browned butter tart ***

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 24 minutes

Yield: Serves 8-10

Quince and apple browned butter tart ***


    For the poached quinces
  • 4 ripe quinces
  • 600ml water
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, opened and seeds scraped into the water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • For the shortcrust pastry (or use your favourite shortcrust pastry recipe)
  • 200g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100g cold butter, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons iced water (you may need more or less water, depending on your flour)
  • For the poached apples
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thick slices
  • 1 cup of the reserved quince poaching liquid
  • For the browned butter filling
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour


    For the poached quinces:
  1. Dissolve the sugar and water in a pot and boil together for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla pod, vanilla seeds, and lemon juice.
  3. Wash the quinces well, core them, and cut into thick slices. Place them immediately into the hot syrup (otherwise they will brown).
  4. Cover and simmer for a couple of hours on a very low heat until the fruit is red and tender.
  5. Remove the quinces from the cooking liquid and set aside to cool.
  6. Boil the cooking liquid to reduce to a thick syrup - about ten minutes or so. Set aside for later.
  7. For the shortcrust pastry
  8. Preheat the oven to 200ยฐC.
  9. In a food processor, place the flour, butter and salt and process briefly until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs.
  10. With the motor running, add enough water for it to come together into a smooth dough.
  11. Take out of the food processor, knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  12. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 2-3mm thick and line a 24cm tart tin with the pastry.
  13. Place a piece of non-stick baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
  14. For the poached apples
  15. In a pot, bring the reserved quince poaching liquid to a boil.
  16. Add the slices of apple, turn down to a low simmer, and poach for 5-10 minutes or until the apple is just tender. Drain the apple from the liquid and set aside.
  17. Assemble the tart
  18. Once the tart shell has baked, assemble the tart by arranging slices of quince and apples into layers. You might want to slip the skins off the quince slices and discard them before putting them into the tart shell.
  19. Set aside and make the browned butter filling.
  20. For the browned butter filling
  21. Melt the butter in a pot and cook until it's a deep golden brown colour.
  22. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the flour.
  23. Strain the butter into the egg mixture and combine.
  24. Pour the filling over the prepared fruit.
  25. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling has set.
  26. If desired, serve the tart with some of the reserved quince poaching liquid. Best served warm.


Adapted from The Cooks Companion