Apples from the Moon: Quince-Apple Pie

I am probably not the only one who looked at the September 2009 cover of Gourmet and thought, what IS that? An apple from the moon?

That strange fuzzy green fruit was a quince, of course, and as soon as my farmer’s market had some I scooped them up. I have to say, even if you don’t plan on making this pie, buying a few quinces is a good idea just for the scent. Sitting in a bowl in your kitchen, they give off a sweet perfume for days.

In the oven, they’re even better. This pie is a bit of a business, since quince are too tough to just throw into a pie filling. Roasting the sliced quince in a bit of orange juice softens them enough to toss with slivered apples and pile high into a pie crust.

Their taste is a little musky, a little floral, and not quite as sweet as they smell. It makes for a grown-up pie with slightly rosy, spicy filling. If you’re plotting out pies for Thanksgiving, I’d suggest roasting the quince a day ahead and storing in an airtight container in the roasting liquid overnight. With the help of a big food processor, you can whip up several pie crusts the day before as well and store in your fridge until you’re ready to roll them out.

Happy November, everyone!

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