Tale one sheet of good-quality puff pastry and cut into a 15cm x 32cm rectangle. Cook on a baking tray at 200°C for 20 minutes. At this stage, it should puff into a rectangular log and be starting to colour. Turn the heat down to 150°C and continue cooking for a further 1 hour, 15 minutes, until the outside is a dark, golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Once cool, with a bread knife, carefully cut the ends off the log. Very gently cut the sheet into 6 equal portions.
400ml thickened cream
60g Billingtons Muscavado sugar
2 egg whites
1 leaf gold-strength gelatine, bloomed in ice water
Warm the cream and sugar over a medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
Still over a medium heat, whisk in the egg whites and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, being careful not to let it come to the boil. At this stage remove the pot from the heat, mix in the gelatine, pass through a fine sieve and cool in the fridge until set. Once cold, transfer to a mixer (KitchenAid or similar) with a whisk attachment (this can also be done by hand). Whisk until soft peaks are achieved, transfer to a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Store in the fridge.
Quince poaching liquor
300g caster sugar
120ml white wine
½ lemon zest and juice
½ orange zest and juice
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of fennel seeds
4 allspice berries
1 vanilla pod, split
2 bay leaves
3 large quinces
Add all of the ingredients for the poaching liquor to a pot that will snugly fit the quinces in a single layer. Bring to a moderate heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. In the meantime, peel the quinces, cut into quarters and remove the cores. Add to the poaching liquor, cover with a sheet of baking paper to keep the quinces submerged and cook on a very low simmer for 3–4 hours until quinces are soft, and deep crimson in colour. Once this is achieved, transfer the quinces in the syrup to the fridge to cool.
Slice the quinces into fine strips. Pipe a little of the brown-sugar cream onto 6 plates, this will anchor the puff pastry to the plate. Arrange the puff pastry, cut side facing up, onto the brown-sugar cream. Pipe brown-sugar cream between the puff pastry layers – be generous. Arrange the quince slices on top, and in the gaps between the cream.
Fill in any gaps with a touch more brown-sugar cream, and drizzle some of the quince poaching liquor over the quince and around the plate.
If you can't find any quince, the ingredient can be substituted with tart apple or a slightly unripe pear.
This piece was produced in partnership with the new CONNOISSEUR Empire Collection, which includes the 'King Louis XIV’ ice cream with french vanilla, chocolate flakes and armagnac.