Vinocotto, Chocolate, Quince and Almond Tart

Chocolate, Quince and Almond Tart

For those of you that watched Masterclass on MasterChef, you would have seen Maggie Beer make that delicious Chocolate, Quince and Almond Tart dessert.  It will be a sensational dessert to make and now is the best time to make it as quinces are just are their ripest.  Maggie used Vino Cotto is her chocolate and almond cream mixture which would just give it that wonderful but subtle  flavor and aroma of berries and spices, but not overpowering the hero of the dish, the roasted quinces.

Maggie mentioned you can use Balsamic Vinegar if you don’t have Vino Cotto.  Just be aware of the acidity levels of Balsamic Vinegar as it will be too sharp and overpower the other flavours.  Authentic Italian Vino Cotto has no red wine vingar and no acidity, making it a wonderfully versatile product to use in many dishes, sweet or savoury.

Maggie’s products and recipes are inspiring, and I’m sure to add this quince tart to my recipe collection. Here’s the official recipes below, courtsey of MasterChef & Maggie Beer or find it on the Masterchef website.


Pot Roasted Quinces
750g Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml water
200ml verjuice
165g castor sugar

Chocolate and almond cream
120g unsalted butter, softened
150g fine castor sugar
200g ground almond meal
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
80ml vino cotto
50g dark chocolate cocoa

Sour Cream Pastry
200g Chilled unsalted butter
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Serves: 12

1 Pre-heat fan forced oven to 170c.

2 Once you have peeled and cored the quince place in pot of water with a squeeze of lemon and set aside, to help stop oxidising.

3 To pot roast the quinces, place the quinces, water, verjuice and sugar into a medium sized pot, place this over a high heat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

4 Cook for 1 hour, then give the quinces a very light toss making sure not to break up the wedges. Place back into the oven.

5 Check the quinces every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not all evaporated, if it starts to and looking like that they will catch on the bottom and an extra 100mls of verjuice. They will take between 2 and 2 ½ hours to cook.

6 Once the quinces are cooked they should be a beautiful ruby red colour and a small amount of syrup left in the base of the pot. They should not be dry or the caught on the base of the pot. Remove the quinces from the pot and place onto a plate or tray and set aside to cool.

7 Increase the temperature oven to 200c

8 To make the almond cream, place the butter and castor sugar in to a food mixer, beat until light and creamy (approx 6 minutes).

9 Add the eggs and yolk (1 at a time) then cocoa, vino cotto and mix for further 1 minute.

10 Add the almond meal, mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

11 To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

12 Add ¾ the sour cream, pulse a couple of times then add the remaining sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

13 Tip the pastry out onto the bench, bring it together and form it in to a rectangle (approx 2cm thick) with your hands. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to rest.

14 Roll out the sour cream pastry to 3mm thick.

15 Grease a flan tin (23cm x 2.5cm) and line with the pastry, cut off the excess pastry around the edge but allow the pastry to come above the fin tin by 5mm, this is due to the pastry shrinking during blind baking. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

16 Remove from the tart shell from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, line the top with bake well paper and place blind baking beans on the top.

17 Blind bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and bake well paper, cook for a further 5 minutes then remove.

18 Reduce the oven temperature to 175c

19 Place one third of the chocolate and almond cream mix on the base of the tart shell. Top with cooked quince wedges and dot the remaining amount of chocolate almond cream on top of the quinces.

20 Return the tart to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, this time will depend on the oven, but need to make sure that the almond cream is cooked in the centre.

21 Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Buy the Vino Cotto you need for this recipe online. Click here.