Chef's Recipes

Slow-baked quince, Pedro Ximénez gelée and whipped Catalan cream

Australian Gourmet Traveller dessert recipe for slow-baked quince, Pedro Ximénez gelée and whipped Catalan cream by chef Alistair Wise.

By Alistair Wise
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 hrs cooking plus setting, cooling
  • Serves 6
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Slow-baked quince, Pedro Ximénez gelée and whipped Catalan cream
This came about after a trip to Spain, after a long bus trip from London to Pamplona for the 'running of the bulls'. It's inspired by Spanish flavourings and English trifle. The crème Catalan is a traditional Spanish equivalent of crème brûlée. We've just whipped it into a light cream. The quince are also great served with fresh-baked madeleines to soak up the juices. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. - Alistair Wise


  • 400 gm caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 quince, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
Pedro Ximénez gelée
  • 375 ml Pedro Ximénez sherry
  • 2 gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water
Whipped Catalan cream
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40 gm caster sugar


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 120C. Combine sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and 1 litre water in a large casserole or saucepan, stir over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the boil and remove from heat. Add quince, cover a with lid or aluminium foil and bake in oven until deep red in colour (4-5 hours). Cool and then refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for Pedro Ximénez gelée, gently warm sherry in a small saucepan over low heat (do not boil). Remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to sherry and stir until gelatine dissolves. Transfer to a small container and refrigerate overnight until just set.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for whipped Catalan cream, combine cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale, pour over cream mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return to pan and cook, stirring continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (7-8 minutes). Strain into a bowl placed over ice and cool completely, then refrigerate until required. Just before serving, whisk until soft peaks form (7-8 minutes).
  • 4
    To serve, divide quince and a little poaching liquid among serving glasses, spoon over a little Pedro Ximénez gelée and serve immediately with whipped Catalan cream.
  • undefined: Alistair Wise