The thing about quince (a fall fruit kind of like a pear) is that even after soaking in jars of whiskey in my cupboard for two months, it still needed some time boiling in a pot to soften up. This fruit has obviously developed defenses against being the first fruit one chooses to cook with. But you know what, quince? It’s a long weekend. I have time.
And here’s where I veer into my grandma’s inexact measurements. I probably had 2 to 3 full quinces cut into pieces that had soaked in the whiskey jars, then cooked in the liquid. I put them in a bowl, squeezed in a little lemon juice, gave it a dash of cinnamon, grated some nutmeg over it, threw in a few spoonfuls of brown sugar, stirred, and put it in a pie pan. It wasn’t quite enough filling. I cut up 5-6 of the bourbon peach halves to add an extra layer, then sprinkled the bourbon-vanilla cherries over the top. Then, why not, I put on some pats of butter – my grandma did that to pies and everything she did turned out tasty.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans (or almonds or hazelnuts)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and pecans in a large bowl until well combined. Add in the pieces of butter and use your hands to squeeze and combine until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles wet sand.
I pre-baked the pie crust at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, then filled and covered the pie in a crumble layer and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the top was a golden brown and the insides bubbling.
This thrown-together thing actually worked. The filling merged well with a nice syrup forming around the fruit. The vanilla goes nice with the nutty top. It’s not very sweet, which I like in a fruit pie. And then every once in a while you get a little cherry pow. It may also not be that hard to recreate – substitute apple or pears (which don’t need the extra cooking time) for the quince and throw some bourbon on top of the fruit if it hasn’t been soaking in it.