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Spiced Quince Tarte Tatin with Bitter Melon and Green Papaya Salad

Serves: 8

Skill level: Moderate

You had me at Tarte Tatin, but adding Queen Adelaide Cabernet Merlot poached quinces makes this dessert something very special indeed. With its rich fruity flavours QA Cabernet Merlot is the perfect pairing for the Spiced tender fruit and the flaky buttery pastry in this decadent tart.

Served with a glass of Queen Adelaide Cabernet Merlot on the side, your guests will think they’ve died and gone to heaven.


  • 3 Quinces
  • 250ml Queen Adelaide Cabernet Merlot
  • 500ml Water
  • 1 Cinnamon Quill
  • 3 whole Star Anise
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 1 whole Vanilla Pod
  • 1 tsp whole Coriander Seeds
  • 1 orange, zested and juice reserved
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup Caster Sugar

  • ½ cup Caster Sugar, extra
  • 50g Unsalted Butter
  • 375g pack of Carême All-Butter Puff Pastry ***
  • Crème Fraiche to serve ***


  • Peel the quinces and cut into 4 equal sized pieces (or 6 if quite large). Remove the cores and place into a medium saucepan. Add the Queen Adelaide Cabernet Merlot, water, spices, orange zest, salt and ½ cup of caster sugar to the saucepan. Stir well to combine.
  • Heat to a boil over a medium/high heat and then reduce to a slow simmer. Place a sheet of baking paper and a snug fitting plate over the top of the fruit – this will ensure the fruit all stays evenly submerged in the liquid, and simmer for 30 minutes or until a knife can be smoothly inserted without any resistance.
  • Once cooked, remove the quinces from their poaching liquid and leave to drain well on absorbent paper. Strain the poaching liquid to remove all the spices and place back into the saucepan with the vanilla pod and the juice from your orange. Bring back to the boil and then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool.
  • Place a large oven safe fry pan over a medium/low heat and sprinkle in the extra ½ cup of caster sugar. Leave it to cook, swirling the pan occasionally until a rich brown caramel has started. Dot over your butter and allow to begin bubbling and then carefully arrange the cooked quinces into your pan over the caramel. Cook for a further 5 minutes making sure the fruit’s not burning and then lay your sheet of puff pastry over the top like a blanket, tucking in the sides well to completely encase the fruit.
  • Place the entire pan into your preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and puffed. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the pan, before carefully turning out onto your serving plate ***

Serve the Quince Tarte Tatin with the extra syrup, a dollop of crème fraiche and a glass of Queen Adelaide Cabernet Merlot

*** Unless you plan to make your own pastry, please use the best quality all-butter puff pastry you can find. I like to use Carême pastry which is ready rolled and available in all good supermarkets, however if you ask your local bakery they would likely be more than happy to sell you a sheet. Ordinary puff pastry is made from margarine, and it will not have the same flavour or texture as a premium all-butter product.

*** Crème fraiche is a French sour cream. It adds a cooling tartness to this otherwise sweet dessert and finishes it off perfectly. You could substitute with ordinary sour cream or just plain thickened cream.

*** To easily plate up the Tarte Tatin, place a large dinner plate over the top of the pastry and quickly flip the entire frypan. The Tarte Tatin will come easily out of the pan and you can then slide the Tarte Tatin onto your desired serving plate.

*** If quinces aren’t in season you could make this tart with pears or even plums or peaches in summer.