Friday, December 15, 2017

Quince Crumble with Lillet Blanc Cordials #Winophiles

As we race towards the holiday season, and the end of the year, Jill of L'Occasion invited the French Winophiles to post about French dessert wines. You can read her full invitation: here. "Just as a dessert wine beautifies the winding-down of dinner, this experience eases us through the end of 2017 to a new and bright 2018," she writes. What a beautiful sentiment for our fun, wine-loving group!

What the Group is Pouring, Pairing, and Posting

What I Poured
Though I'm not much for sweet wines, I did have a bottle of Lillet Blanc in the fridge that I had used for my Guardians of the Galaxy-inspired Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! Martini.

Lillet Blanc is comprised of 80% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Muscadelle. While I usually think of this as a light, summer option, its floral notes reminded me of elderflower liqueur, so I thought to use it as I would an elderflower liqueur. Then I served the dessert with a lovely cordial of Lillet!

What I Baked
Autumn and Winter mean baking for me. Lots and lots of baking. Okay, truth be told, I bake all year long. But when the days get shorter and colder, I bake more. And when I saw a basket full of quince I think I squealed. Literally squealed. People stared. Oh, well...if they don't understand my joy at seeing this elusive fruit, too bad.

I adore quince. If you're unfamiliar, here's a piece I wrote for Edible Monterey Bay a couple of years back: Queen of Quince Takes Her Show on the Road

Ingredients serves 6 to 8
  • 4 or 5 quince
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t Lillet Blanc
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T organic corn starch
  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 C butter, cubed
  • 1 T Lillet Blanc

Rinse the quince and place them in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 75 to 90 minutes until the quince is tender. The fruit will turn golden; the longer you poach it, the more pinkish it becomes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a baking dish.

Slice drained, poached quince in half. Remove the cores and stems. Cut into thick slices and place in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with corn starch, sugar, cinnamon, Lillet Blanc, and lemon juice.

Toss to coat. Spoon the quince into your prepared baking dish.

For the all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use a pastry cutter to create pea-sized chunks.

Spoon the topping over the quince and use a spatula to spread it over the top. 

Bake the crumble for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot with a cordial of Lillet.


  1. Hat's off to you for making a quince tart! We've been watching back seasons of the Great British Baking Show recently, and you'd be a natural there!

    1. Thanks, Jeff! I think I just saw that show pop up in my Netflix queue of "Shows You Might Like" or something like that. I'll watch an episode. Cheers.

  2. I totally understand you reaction to seeing fresh quince. I had a similar, though more inward;-) reaction when I saw some at a Safeway a few week ago. Quince is a fruit/aroma I frequently see in sparkling wine tasting notes and I'd never had it fresh (just the paste). If I can find it again, I'm going to make your crumble. Thanks also for the info on the Lillet. I've seen it around, but never knew what it was! Happy Holidays to you and your family Cam!

    1. Quince can be a little intimidating as it still resembles a rock after just 30 minutes of cooking. But it is well worth the effort, I think. Jake just had another cocktail that uses Lillet, so that bottle is definitely earning its place in my fridge.

  3. All these years and I always thought Lillet is a liquor not a wine. Thank you so much for explaining the obvious. I love your tart and I think it is a wonderful pairing!

    1. So did I!! Even after I used it in a cocktail initially...I still thought of it as a liqueur. I am glad I did some more reading to discover that I could use it as a dessert wine.

  4. So glad to see you featured Lillet! Quite by accident, I was introduced to it in Sacramento- my favorite corner grocer from the old world told me to mix 75/25 Lillet/sparkling water for an alternative to wine. Been hooked ever since. You are a brave woman to process raw quince ;-)

    1. Now that I haven't tried. I will give it a shot as I have both in my house and I have some friends coming over for dinner today. Thanks, Lynn.

  5. You’ve composed some enchanting ingredients here! Happy new year!