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Put the quinces in a large saucepan with the butter, vanilla pod and seeds, cinnamon and 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook for 5 mins over a medium heat. Add the apples, lemon juice and sugar, cover again and cook for a further 10 mins.
Add the pears and flour, and cook, uncovered, for 5 mins more stirring occasionally to stop the flour from sticking. The fruit should now be soft, but still holding its shape.
Remove the vanilla pod and transfer the fruit to a deep 22cm pie dish. Leave to cool. The fruit can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Trim the edges, then cut into rough triangles or squares. Brush a little egg around the edge of the dish and all over the pastry pieces. Starting from the outside, layer the pastry in a patchwork style, leaving a few little gaps for the fruit to poke through. Trim any overhanging edges and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar. Bake for 45-50 mins until the pastry is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Serve warm with custard, if you like.