Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Tart Treat

On this week especially, it seems appropriate to share another recipe from Battle Thanksgiving.

And, no, in case you were wondering, the picture doesn't do it justice.

First of all, the whipped cream is covering up the pie itself, so you can't see the beautiful garnet color of the cranberries. Second, there's a Dalek in the image, which seems quite unnecessary. Third, you can't taste what the quince does for the dessert, which is quite a lot and hard to imagine if you are unfamiliar with the particular flavor of quince, as many judges were before the battle.

Here, Cybele's much beloved pie.

Cranberry-quince pie with Grand Marnier whipped cream

3 large quinces, peeled, cored and chopped (approx the size of the cranberries)

1 cup fresh cranberries

2 cups good quality apple juice

½ cup sugar

¼ cup good quality honey

1 large lemon (zest and juice)

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cinnamon stick, plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

A few pats of butter for top of pie

Note: you can use a store bought crust or roll your own.

1 container whipping cream

¼ to ½ cup Grand Marnier (Calvados or apple brandy would work too)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and plan to use the middle shelf. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot (with lid), combine the quinces, apple juice, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring mixture to a boil then let simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Add the cranberries and simmer for another 10 min (you don’t want to let these get too soft that they completely fall apart and turn into mush). Meanwhile, poke holes into the bottom of the crust with a fork and pre-bake for about ten minutes.

Pour almost all of the liquid out of the cranberry and quince pot (so that the fruit doesn’t steam in the oven but bakes; the mixture should be soft but not be runny). Add the sugar, honey, lemon zest and lemon juice and cinnamon. Add more sugar or spices to taste. (The quince is a little tart so you may want to add more sugar or honey.)

Pour mixture into pie shell, dollop the top with butter and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the filling has set. Let cool for half an hour on the counter then another half an hour in the fridge.

When you’re about ready to serve the pie, whip the cream until it almost forms soft peaks. Add Grand Marnier and whip until it forms soft peaks. (Don’t make the whipped cream until you’re almost ready to serve the pie because the alcohol will fall out of the mixture if it sits too long.)

Serve the pie at room temperature.

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