Collingwood Farmers Market, I bought a bag of them with trepidation. I have already written of my nostalgia for quinces. Having cooked with them before, I am also well aware that they are not the easiest of fruit. I searched quince recipes for ideas and finally settled on Anh's quince and almond cake. It was so good that I am really sad at how infrequently I encounter quinces
The Diamond Queen and we ate the last piece with a cup of tea while watching Downton Abbey. This is a cake that would be at home at high tea time in a grand house among bone china and corsetted matrons. In fact I would go as far as to say it is one of the more impressive cakes on my blog.
Impressive often means fiddly. I started this on the Sunday night when I trimmed, peeled, chopped and poached the quinces. I liked Anh's suggestion of adding the quince skins in a muslin bag to the poaching water for extra flavour but I had a huge pile of trimmings and just didn't have it in me to be so organised.
I was glad that I started the cake as early as possible. After the first 50 minutes at 165 C oven, my cake looked like uncooked batter peeking through the moist quince slices. I put it back in to cook further at 180 C for 35 minutes and let it cool in the oven with the door ajar. It smelt wonderful but it was too late to sample a slice.
The cake was an astounding success. It wasn't the same glorious yellow and deep red of Anh's cake. Yet it had a marvellous soft crumb that was barely sweet. Quite rightly the cake allowed the fragrant and subtly spiced quinces to shine. I was pleased and relieved, given that it didn't go according to plan. It was only after finishing the cake that it twigged that I added 300g of butter rather than 185g. No wonder it tasted so good! But it is a reminder as to why I shouldn't bake while getting Sylvia to bed.
quince and gorgonzola salad posted by Cindy recently.
I am sending this cake to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for her Bookmarked Recipes event (originally founded by Ruth from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments).
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Ricki's breakfast patties and Delia's bread
Two years ago: Gingerbread, mixed peel and grandmothers
Three years ago: WTSIM ... Red Onion, Feta and Olive Tart
Four years ago: Promoting Promite
Five years ago: Choc Chip Cookies go Bananas!
Quince and almond cake
Adapted from AWW via A Food Lover's Journey
185g butter, softened
110g castor sugar
185g almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour
seeds from a vanilla bean (I used the one from the poaching liquid)
1 quantity of below poached quince slices, drained
Preheat oven to 165 C. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Gently stir in almond meal, flour and vanilla. Spoon into prepared tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Arrange quince slices on the top of the cake. You may not have room for quite all of the slices. Bake for 50 minutes or until cake is golden brown and set. (The cake will poke through between the quince slices once set - as in notes above, I baked mine much longer but I think this is due to accidentally putting in too much butter.) Cool in the tin. Remove the side of the springform tin and serve in wedges.
Adapted from the Farmers Market flyer
800ml castor sugar
1 cinnamon quill
1 lemon, quartered
1 vanilla bean
Trim and peel quinces. Quarter and remove cores. Slice each quarter into 3 or 4 slices. Pile into medium saucepan and add remaining ingredients (I pushed the cloves into a lemon quarter so they were easy to remove. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until quinces are soft. Discard cinnamon quill, lemon quarters, and cloves. Set aside vanilla bean. Cool quinces in poaching liquid. I left mine in the saucepan overnight. Serve in poaching liquid or strain quince slices for above cake and save liquid for smoothies, crumbles or just to drink straight.
On the stereo:
Auf Leisen Sohlen - Roedelius