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Quince Sharlotka


I jump for joy whenever I see quince in the markets; I love quince. Quince are golden-hued till you cook them. Then they take on unique shades of pink, orange, and rose. They are lovely. Many people have commented that they don't know what a quince is or they haven't ever had a quince. If you're unfamiliar, here's a piece I wrote for Edible Monterey Bay several years ago: Queen of Quince Takes Her Show on the Road.

Truth be told, this is not a traditional sharlotka. The few Russian recipes I found didn't actually use ricotta or even quince. But I went with it anyway. I love adding ricotta and sour cream to baked goods for added moisture...and quince is always a delight. Also, this is normally done in a large Springform pan; I wanted to make individual cakes.

Ingredients makes 12 individual cakes

Poached Quince
  • 4 C water
  • 1 organic lemon peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-1/2 to 4 C quince, peeled and sliced

Sharlotka

  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1/4 C softened butter
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 C poached quince, chopped
  • Also needed: parchment paper, butter, cupcake tin

For Serving

  • poached quince 
  • organic powdered sugar

Procedure

Poached Quince
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium or large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 60 to 75 minutes until the quince is tender and has turned a delicate shade of salmon pink. Drain and reserve poaching liquid. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peel. When cool enough to handle, chop about 2 C worth. Leave the rest of the slices whole for serving.

Sharlotka
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. While the oven heats, butter the cupcake hollows and cut parchment paper to line the bottom of each hollow. Set aside.

Whisk together ricotta, softened butter, sugar, vanilla paste, eggs, and milk. Fold in the dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in the chopped quince.

Scoop 1/2 C batter into each hollow and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the top is golden and pops back up when pressed. Mine took about 50 minutes.


Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.


 Run a knife around the edges, then invert onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment circles from the bottom. After cooling for 10 to 15 minutes, place the cakes on individual serving plates.


Dust with powdered sugar.


Arrange a few slices of poached quince on each plate.


Serve warm.


This cake is moist and custardy on the inside and lightly caramelized on the outside. I can't wait to try this process with other fruits. I'm thinking apples next. Actually, I think apples might be traditional. Stay tuned...

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