Quince and Goat Cheese Galette

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Quince is  a  firm, aromatic, almost floral, fall fruit available from October to December.  It looks like a cross between a pear and an apple.

 

Quince

Quince

To enjoy its full flavor, quince needs to be peeled of its sometimes fuzzy skin and cooked in a syrup until tender.  Once cooked, it often turns a pale salmon color. Because of the high pectin content, quince is popular for jams and jellies, but there is more to this firm, almost astringent, fruit than jams.  A free-form tart or galette shows off this intriguing fruit to its full beauty and deliciousness. Slice and arrange  the poached fruit on a pastry and bake for a heavenly dessert.

The pastry is made super quick in the food processor and refrigerated for an hour or overnight. Cook the peeled quince in a sugar syrup until fork-tender. Cool and refrigerate to let it absorb all the sweet flavor. After the pastry is rolled out, it is spread with a goat cheese filling then topped with the sliced quince.  Once baked, give a bit of eye-catching gloss to the galette by brushing the fruit with reserved quince syrup.

Quince and Goat Cheese Galette

For Pastry:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup  cold butter, cut up

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

4 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

2 star anise

Pinch salt

2 or 3  large quince ( about 1 pound),  peeled , quartered, and cored

1 cup (7-oz.) plain goat cheese

2 tablespoons  heavy cream or sour cream

2 tablespoons quince poaching syrup

1. To make Pastry: Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a food processor bowl with the steel blade attached; pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Gradually add 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water through the feed tube and pulse just until it forms a ball. Remove pastry from the food processor  Shape pastry into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. (Can be made ahead. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to one week. If frozen, thaw at room temperature.)

2. Bring the 4 cups water, 2 cups sugar, star anise, and salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over high heat; stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and add the quince; cover and cook 35 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. Refrigerate in the syrup until completely cooled. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.)

3. To assemble galette: Slice quince into 1/4-inch slices and drain on paper towels. Pour  2 cups of the poaching syrup into a saucepan. Heat over high to boiling; boil untild reduce to 1/2 cup.

4. In a small bowl, stir goat cheese and heavy cream until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the poaching syrup; set aside.

5. Meanwhile,  heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or foil. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 14-inch circle. Transfer pastry to prepared cookie sheet.

6. Spread the goat cheese on the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge.

goat cheese filling and quince

goat cheese filling and quince

Arrange sliced quince in a circle atop the goat cheese. Fold edge of pastry over quince.

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Brush the pastry and quince with  some of the reduced poaching liquid. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.

7. Remove from oven and immediately brush the fruit again with the poaching liquid. Allow galette to cool on the cookie sheet before transferring to a serving platter. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

 

 

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