Quince, “the golden apples of the sun,” have long symbolized fertility, abundance, and wealth. The trees grow best in a Mediterranean climate and can produce for decades. Given their hardy nature, it’s no surprise that quince trees flourish at Tres Estrellas.
Look for pale-gold quince in fall. Even when ripe, the fruit will be rock-hard and very tart. Mexicans eat raw quince thinly sliced, with a squeeze of lime and some salt. It is even better slowly cooked with apple and spices until it reaches the pale-pink sweetness of mermelada.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 quince, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 cup organic apple juice
- One 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 6 tartlet bases
- Whipped cream
1. In a medium pan, heat the oil and sauté the apples and quince for 5 minutes.
2. Add the cranberries and nutmeg, and cook a few minutes more to soften.
3. Add the apple juice, cinnamon stick, and syrup. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, until the liquid evaporates, about 25 minutes.
4. Remove the cinnamon stick, put half of the mixture into the bowl a food processor, and puree. Stir the pureed mixture back into the remaining fruit.
5. Top each tartlet base with a dollop of mermelada and some whipped cream. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftover mermelada.
※ Make with firm green apples alone, and cook only until tender and all the liquid has evaporated—about 15 minutes.
※ Sprinkle the tartlets with cinnamon, or chopped nuts, such as pistachios or almonds.
- 1 cup rolled oats or low-fat granola
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 egg white
- ½ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the oats, almonds, nutmeg, and orange zest 10 times to break up the oats and nuts. Add the egg white and ¼ cup of the agave syrup and pulse a few more times to make the dough stick together. You will still see whole bits of oat and almond.
3. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or line with a nonstick silicone mat. Set a 3 ½ -inch round cookie cutter or tart ring onto the pan. Scoop one slightly rounded tablespoon of dough into the ring. Hold the ring with one hand and carefully tamp the dough down with the back of a dampened spoon, pressing the dough to the edges of the ring to make a clean edge, then lift off the ring. Repeat until you have 12 tartlets.
4. Bake the tartlets until crisp and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately run a thin spatula beneath each tartlet to loosen from the pan. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. You will only need six tartlet bases for this recipe. Reserve the rest for another use.