Well… now that the weather has turned in time for Spring, do you really care what’s in the pot? Clearly it’s something that involves baking and we all know that the hot Australian summer is not conducive to baking. But Spring/Summer baking is not what this post is all about. While I love the sunshine and flowers, a part of me yearns for the sharp clarity of winter mornings and the satisfaction of warm winter desserts. So this post is a throw back to all the things we wish for during winter. Mostly…
I hate that the Quince season is so woefully short. I hate that Quinces are not readily available as they should be. I hate that I don’t have my own Quince tree in my own backyard. And while I am trying harder to make the most of produce that is in season, I wish that Quinces that had been transported in cold storage did not taste so awful. Then we wouldn’t have to wait until winter to enjoy them. But all things come to those who wait, and as I wait patiently all year I know that I will always have time for at least one Quince Cake during winter.
This particular recipe is quite simple, the only time consuming part is poaching the quinces but
1. having the oven on for so long keeps the house warm
2. the smell is gorgeous! I would like nothing better than to have my house continuously smell like quinces poaching
So in the end, after all the deliciousness and warmth of the poaching process you end up with a wonderful buttery, soft, sweet, spicy cake. Particularly tasty with the crunchy munchy cinnamon topping and jewels of quince peeking out.
So, my lovelies, what seasonal food would you eat all year round if you could? I’ll give you three wishes!
Poached Quince – From The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander
6 Quinces, peeled and cored
2.25 litres sugar syrup (2 parts water to 1 part sugar, heat and dissolve sugar to make the syrup)
1 vanilla bean
juice of 1 lemon
1. Put sugar syrup into a large enamelled cast iron casserole dish along with the quinces, vanilla bean and lemon juice
2. Cover tightly and bake at 150 degrees celsius for at least 4 (and up to 8) hours until the quinces are a deep red colour. Do not stir.
Quince and Cinnamon Cake – From The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander
180g softened butter
150g caster sugar
135g plain flour
135g self raising flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1. To make the topping, melt the butter and stir in the sugar and cinnamon, then allow to cool a little. Whisk the eggs and stir into the cooled butter mixture
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Mix in flours and salt
4. Mix the eggs with the milk and add to the flour mixture. Mix to a softish dough.
5. Spoon the batter into a prepared tin (it will rise quite a bit so don’t overfill) and sprinkle the almond meal over the top
6. Arrange the quinces cut side up on top of the batter and spoon the topping over and around the quinces.
7. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 50 mins-1 hour
8. Serve warm with cream