Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recipe: Apple-Quince Pie

Apple-Quince Pie
Since I just posted about Quinces and mentioned my holiday pie, I thought I would share that today. For more information about Apples and Quinces, read these previous posts.


  • 4 quinces
  • 4 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup dried raisins or other berries
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle of sweet white wine
  • 2 Pie Crusts

Information on ingredients:

  • Quince:  Use quinces that are just barely soft, completely yellow, and very fragrant. 
  • Apples: Traditionally use Granny Smith, but just about any variety of apple will work just fine.  I’ve used Macintosh and Pink Lady and had good results.
  • Lemon:  We just need the juice of one lemon.  Meyer Lemons are great with this, but any lemon will do.
  • Dried Fruit:  I typically use a mix of dried golden raisins and other dried berries (cherries, blueberries, cranberries, currants, and a mix of other raisins), but I have also thrown in some fresh currants and fresh blackberries as well.
  • Vanilla Bean: cut lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and use both the bean and the seeds.
  • Black Pepper: The little bit we add will not be noticed as “spicy” but will enhance the flavor of the pie.
  • Wine: Many types of wine can be used, and I don’t think I have used the same one twice.  A sweet dessert wine, like a Muscat, is great, but I have used a sweet Riesling with good success as well.
  • Pie Crusts:  If you have the time, energy, good recipe, and good success, then make your own pie crusts.  I usually cheat and buy some premade, rolled pie crusts in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  Since I typically make this pie with many other dishes as part of a holiday meal, I just don’t have the time or energy to make pie dough from scratch, although the few times I have, I think the pie is better for it.


  • Peel the quince.  Save the peelings.  Halve the quinces. 
  • In a saucepan, add quince, peels, vanilla bean and seeds, ¼ cup sugar, wine, and just enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  • Simmer until quinces are tender when poked with a fork.
  • Strain the contents of the saucepan, reserve the liquid, set aside the tender quince to cool.  Toss the peels and vanilla bean into the compost pile.
  • Add the liquid back to the saucepan and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by about 2/3 to ¾.  The liquid should be like syrup.  Can take about 30 minutes.
  • Add the dried fruit to the hot reduced poaching liquid and let soak.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Peel and core the apples.  Cut into wedges.  Place in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  • Add flour, remaining sugar, and spices to apples and toss to coat.
  • Either with a melon baller or a pairing knife, seed and core the cooled quinces.  Slice into wedges.  Add to the apple mixture.  
  • With a slotted spoon, strain out the soaked dried fruit (which should have plumped up a bit) and add the fruit to the apple mixture.  Toss to mix.  Make sure to save the remaining poaching liquid.  
  • Place one pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan or dish (I have even seen a very similar pie made in a cast-iron skillet, but I have yet to try it).  
  • Fill with the fruit mixture.  Add some of the poaching liquid.  I have also added a small pat of unsalted butter.
  • Cover with remaining pie crust.  Pinch the crusts together to seal the edges.  Cut vents in the top in whatever pattern you choose.  Alternatively, you can cut the top crust into pieces and arrange them over the top leaving the center of the pie open – giving a more “rustic” appearance.  You can lightly brush with water and sprinkle with sugar if desired.
  • Bake for about one hour to one hour and 20 minutes.  Until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling over.  You can always cover the pie with foil if the crust starts to brown too quickly – a lot depends on the type and quality of the oven you are using.  If you leave the center open, and the center begins to look dry, then you can spoon some of the poaching liquid on top a little at a time.
  • Allow to cool for a bit – enough to allow the fruit to “set” a bit.  I like to serve it while it is still a little warm with a scoop of homemade or good quality vanilla ice cream.


  1. A pairing knife could be used first to seed the core and also to pinch the crust.

  2. That just looks so delicious. I prefer to bake my pies with an open crust too so I could smell the goodness of the pies.