Hark ye ladies and gentle hommes!
'Tis the saison of the quynce.
Ay, the quynce is a wily fruite. It smells of the fleurs of Paradys, yet the flesh taystes of Saytan himselfe and gives one the gripe of the bowels.
But list! I have discover-ed a method of cooking them in pasty, so the flesh turns rosy as a summer's morne.
Stew'd with the bean of Vanille and the syrup of yonder bewitch'ed tree.
It becometh sweet and fragrant as the bee's honeye in the monath of June.
The pasty top of maize flour crumbleth upon the tongue.
Be no longer afrayed of the rascally quynce!
For it hath been conquer'ed.
Quince Biscuit Pie (adapted from Martha Stewart)
5 cups water
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated
5 quinces, peeled, cored, and quartere
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved (or add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract after poaching)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the topping:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup granulated
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
Make the filling: Bring water, maple syrup, granulated , quinces, and vanilla seeds and pod to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat. Cover and cook until quinces are soft and rosy pink, about 2 hours. Discard vanilla pod.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the topping: Sift together flour, cornmeal, granulated , baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and then sift again. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with some large pieces remaining. Make a well in the center. Pour in cream; stir until combined.
Transfer quinces to a medium bowl using a slotted spoon. Add 1 cup poaching liquid and the cornstarch, and toss to combine. Pour quinces with juices into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Arrange large spoonfuls of topping mixture around outer edge of pie, leaving a space in the center. Bake until liquid is bubbling and topping is golden, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely.
Martha suggests serving with maple whipped cream, in which case you'll want to whip some maple into some cream. But I thought it was just fine as it was.