Spring is coming and going. We’ve had heatwaves and cold snaps. Stone fruits are only just flowering, and I saw grape vines on the weekend that hadn’t even grown leaves yet. Of course there are some new fruits after winter. Berries are here, and there’s rhubarb and citrus. I’m still eating a lot of winter fruit though, and pulling my stewed quinces out of the freezer was a real pleasure.
The quinces had stayed in the freezer for ages, because it seemed like they deserved a better fate than topping a bowl of cereal. Finally I pulled them out and forced myself to find an inspiring way to use them. I’ve been enjoying reading Nigella Lawson’s book Feast, and her moist apple and almond cake looked like a promising gluten free option. At last I’d found the recipe to adapt for my quinces.
The cake is quite moist, and the eggs allow it to rise without any raising agent. Made with quinces it is the faintest bit pink, which is lovely. The quinces are stewed with spices, so the cake is richly fragrant, and heavy and moist with almond meal.
This cake is for my dad. Happy Birthday!
Ingredients for the Cake
285g cooked quince
325g ground almonds
275g caster sugar
a handful of flaked almonds
Method for the Cake
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a 22cm springform tin with baking paper.
Mash the stewed quinces with a fork until they form a puree.
Combine the pureed quince with the eggs, ground almonds, and caster sugar. Beat well.
Spread in the tin and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for about 45 min or until the cake springs back at the centre.
Ingredients for the Quinces
whole cloves, ground cinnamon
Method for the Quinces
Core the quinces and dice them up. It is ok to leave the skin on.
Put them in a saucepan with a few strips of lemon rind, about four cloves and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Just cover them with water.
Bring them to the boil, then simmer for at least an hour. If you want a really good pink colour they need to cook for ages. Just top up the water and boil them until you are satisfied.
This method will make more stewed quince than you need for the cake. You can use the rest on your porridge, or make some quince muffins.