Recipe: Robert Wemischner’s Red Wine-Poached Quince Tarts

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Pastry Chef Robert Wemischner makes a Red Wine-Poached Quince Tart for the fall season. (Photo by Elon Schoenholz)

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Robert Wemischner

Some of you bakers may recognize Robert Wemischner as one of KCRW’s Annual Good Food Pie Contest judges. As a professional pastry chef and culinary educator at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College for over 25 years now, he has mentored scores of young, aspiring bakers and authored four books on how to craft signature desserts. His latest book is The Dessert Architect.

We ran into Robert this week with his students on a school field trip at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, where they were learning about the seasonality of different fall ingredients, and how to properly source them. One of the ingredients on their class list was quince from Mud Creek Ranch, so we decided to tag along.

Quince is an often overlooked fruit here in the US, despite its popularity in Europe, where bakers and preservers alike find myriad ways of incorporating it into their seasonal menus. With its lumpy, almost apple-like appearance, quince is extremely high in pectin, which makes it perfect for preserving, poaching and baking, though very tannic and astringent if eaten raw…and some people do!