Apple Quince Honey Pie
Source: Monica Contois, Pie Contest Winner
This pie won third prize in CUESA’s Harvest Festival Pie Contest on October 25, 2014.
I really wanted the ingredients I chose to underscore each other’s flavor notes. The whey in the crust strengthened the dairy richness of the butter, and the honey in the filling boosts the perfumey qualities of the quince.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups unsalted European style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled
⅓ to ½ cups whey, chilled
Milk or cream as needed (for brushing the crust; optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound quince, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick
2 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ½-inch thick (I used Spitzenberg, Rome Beauty, and Northern Spy)
½ cup mild honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1. To make the crust, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Distribute the cold butter cubes throughout flour mixture, then cut in with a fork or pastry blender until the largest remaining pieces of butter are the size of lentils. Drizzle ⅓ cup of the whey over the mixture and toss with a fork to combine, only adding the rest of the whey if needed to make the mixture come together. Divide the dough into half. Pat the pieces of dough into discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day before assembling the pie.
2. To make the filling, heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When bubbling, add the quince and toss to combine. Cover tightly and cook. Open the lid to stir once every 2 minutes. After 5 to 7 minutes, when the quince slices have become flexible, add the apple slices and toss to combine. Cover again, continuing to stir at 2-minute intervals. When the apples are beginning to soften on the outside but still have some internal crunch, add the honey, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until combined and increase the heat to high. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the juices begin to thicken. Transfer the fruit and juices to a shallow container for cooling. Wait until the filling is completely cool to assemble the pie.
3. To assemble the pie, Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack on lowest level. On a floured surface, roll out 1 disc of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Trim the ragged edges and transfer to a 9-inch pie tin. Pour the filling into the bottom crust and refrigerate while rolling out the top crust. On a floured surface, roll out the second disc of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into strips ½- to 1-inch wide and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of the pie. Crimp the edges as desired. Brush the crust with milk or cream before baking for a glossier appearance. Bake on the lowest oven rack. Check the pie after 15 minutes of baking. Cover the edges with foil when they begin to brown. Bake until uniformly brown and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes total. Let cool and until ready to serve.
Photo by Jennifer Kregear.