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Fall Dessert Quince Puff Pastry Tarts with Roasted Pecans and Vanilla Sauce

Quince are not a pretty fruit. Far from perfectly shaped they resemble an oversized, rock-hard pear. However, once peeled and stewed with sugar, like apples for a compote, quince are versatile. You can make a quince paste, which is delicious with cheese or follow this recipe for Quince Puff Pastry Tarts from Jeany Cronk’s kitchen.

“We live in a little village called Cotignac in Provence, whose name is said to derive from the French word for Quince. These beautiful fruits are used frequently in local cuisine and celebrated with their own village festival at the end of October. In case you cannot get hold of them you can replace them with firm and tart apples or/and pears.”

5 reasons to visit Cotignac.

Quince Puff Pastry Tarts Roasted Pecans @MirabeauWine

Quince Puff Pastry Tarts with Roasted Pecans and Vanilla Sauce

The colours of fall (orange quince, brown nuts and vanilla sauce) come together in this dessert. The trick if you are having company is to make the pieces (pastry, quince compote and toppings) in advance.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 tarts


  • 1 roll All-Butter Puff Pastry pate feuilleté in France
  • 3-4 Quinces depending on size
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 1 handful Pecans
  • 300 ml (10.6fl oz) Single cream
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 3 eggs yolks scrambled


  • First peel your quinces, this is a bit of a job as the skin is thick, then cut into small squares.
  • Add to the pan with a small splash of water and 100g sugar.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes until soft.
  • Taste to adjust the sugar, they are very sour, so you may well need to add a bit more to make it palatable (the roasted pecans will add some extra sweetness though, so don’t overdo it).
  • While the compote is cooking we will sugar roast the pecans and make the sauce.
  • Crush your nuts with a rolling pin or just break them by hand.
  • Add about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to a pan and heat up.
  • Survey very closely as the difference between molten and burnt sugar is only a couple of seconds and the latter is not nice.
  • Once the sugar starts to melt and bubble turn the heat down a touch and add the nuts.
  • Turn them all over to achieve and even sugar coating and roast gently for another few minutes. Set aside.
  • Pour 300 ml of cream into a pan with a vanilla pod and heat up gently.
  • Add two scrambled egg yolks while constantly whisking.
  • The sauce should start to thicken, please don’t let it boil as you will get cooked egg bits inside.
  • Turn the heat off and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod by going over the softened surface with a knife- this should leave you with lots of little black spots in your sauce.
  • Turn off and cover to reheat gently just before serving desert.
  • Turn the oven on to 180 degrees Celsius, or 356F.
  • Then take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave for 10 minutes to soften. Unroll on it’s greaseproof paper on a flat surface.
  • Find a glass or bowl that is slightly larger than your pie tin and press down hard to stencil out the right diameter of pastry.
    Quince Puff Pastry Tarts Roasted Pecans @MirabeauWine
  • Grease your pie tins with a little butter and then press the pastry into the form, making sure the sides are even and stable to take the fruit filling later.
  • Cut up the greaseproof paper from the pastry to line the pies and weigh down with some baking beans.
  • Blind bake for 10 minutes to ensure a super flaky result.
  • Then fill the pie casings with the fruit filling and return to the oven for about 20 minutes, you want a nicely puffed up and light brown pastry edge.
  • Carefully remove them from their pastry cases and add to a plate.
  • Crumble over the nuts and add a nice dollop of hot vanilla sauce (or put a jug on the table for everyone to serve themselves).


We suggest you make all the basic ingredients, i.e. the quince compote, roasted nuts and vanilla sauce before hand, then you have only a couple of simple jobs to complete the tarts just before serving.
Instead of cream you can serve with vanilla ice cream for a delicious alternative.
Wine Pairing: We served this with our moreish gastronomic Rosé, Etoile, which has these stunning, concentrated stone fruit flavours, which work so well with all sorts of puddings. Since we’re often a little unsure which wine to serve with deserts, I would urge you to have a go with this lovely cuvée.
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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.

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