Here is another recipe with quinces as a main ingredient – I am determined to make the most of this interesting fruit during the brief period that it is available and am keeping an eye open for new recipes that make use of it. This is a good one for lacto-vegetarians.
I found the original for this recipe in the September edition of a German women’s magazine, Freundin. As usual it required some adaptation to work in the Symi context as the original called for Continental-style sheep’s milk cheese and Herbes de Provence… The resulting flavour combination is slightly sweet but at the same time savoury and although the original recipe says ‘Serves 8’, it went very quickly between three of us!
750 grams of quince (here in Symi that is roughly one large one)
100 ml apple juice (you may need more)
A sprig of rosemary – from my garden, of course!
4 small leeks, or one fat one
200 grams sheep’s milk cheese – I used anthotyri which is a firm fresh white traditional Greek cheese with a mild flavour, similar to ricotta. Feta would have been too salty.
3 eggs – my hens were happy to oblige
150 ml milk – I used 200 ml light cream as the skim milk I usually have seemed too thin for the purpose.
100 grams fresh cream cheese (16% fat) – I used Philadelphia
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Herbes de Provence – I used Symi thyme from my garden, finely chopped with a little more rosemary
230 gram roll of ready made pizza dough – I made 300 grams of all butter short crust pastry
1. Peel and quarter the quince, remove the seeds and dice. Put the quince pieces in saucepan with the apple juice and rosemary. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the quince is tender but still holding its shape. Drain, discarding juice and rosemary.
2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
3. Thoroughly wash and finely slice the leeks. The original recipe used the leeks uncooked but as I only had a large and rather mature specimen, I sautéed it in a little olive oil first to soften it.
4. Dice the cheese.
5. Beat together the eggs, cream or milk and cream cheese. A blender makes short work of this. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and herbs.
6. Roll out the dough and use to line a large pie dish or tapsi (round Greek baking pan). Distribute the leeks, quinces and cheese chunks evenly over the pastry. Pour over the egg mixture.
7. Bake in a hot oven for about 40 minutes or until the crust is cooked and the filling set.
8. Serve warm or cold.