This is a deep moist cake, perfect with a strong rich coffee. Keep the recipe safe for when your newly planted quince tree has given you its first harvest.
- 3-4 quince
- 450 ml water
- 175 ml sugar
- 120 ml honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake:
- 360 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 325 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 120 ml full fat milk
- 100 g walnuts
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
- Core, peel and slice the quince. (Quince are very hard, so it’s easiest to work with if you cut the fruit into eighths, rather than quarters).
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients for the poaching liquid and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Add the quince and simmer until very soft, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Drain the quince, reserving the liquid (you should have about a cup or so). Roughly mash the quince with a fork or potato masher and set aside. Note, the quince can be made ahead and refrigerated.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a standard 9-inch cake tin.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla. Beat in about half the flour until just mixed, followed by all of the milk. Add in the remaining flour. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the cooked quince and half the walnuts, chopped.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooking, heat the quince cooking liquid in a heavy based pan to reduce.
- When the cake is cooked turn onto a rack. Poke the bottom of the cake all over with a bamboo skewer, then brush about a third of the poaching liquid over the cake.
- Turn the cake over onto a second rack. Poke the top all over with the skewer, then brush the remaining liquid over the top and sides of the cake.
- Toast the remaining walnuts with the demerara in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly caramelised.
- Decorate the top of the cake while warm.
- Let the cake cool completely before serving.