I’ve given them away, steeped them in brandy, turned them into jelly, baked them and stewed them. This year’s quince harvest has been a bumper one and it seemed a shame to waste it. They perfumed the kitchen for weeks before I summoned up the effort to cook them, however. Rock hard and difficult to slice, peel, or core, they really are a labour of love.
There are two quince trees in my garden and they produced a belfast-sinkful of quinces. It didn’t help that every quince recipe I looked at needed three at the most. Usually just one. It felt like a lifetime’s supply! I managed to give some away but there’s only so much quince brandy and quince jelly you can make. It was time to start peeling and chopping.
I stewed my quinces and sieved them to remove the excess water before mashing them to a rough purée. I ended up with just over a kilo! Cake is usually the answer to most questions and it turned out to be the answer to my quince mountain. I’ve frozen the leftover purée in portions for four more cakes but it’s also great with yogurt if you have any left over.
This recipe is gluten- and dairy-free and has no added fat. It’s an all-in-one recipe, so once you’ve prepared the quinces all the hard work is done. You’ll find more information on quinces and how to prepare them here and here. And just remember, you don’t need to peel or core them to make quince brandy or quince jelly!
250g ground almonds
175g soft brown sugar
200g quince purée
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Topping: 35g flaked almonds
Set the oven to 170°C and grease and line an 8″ springform cake tin.
Put all the ingredients except the flaked almonds into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until well combined.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Scatter over the flaked almonds.
Bake for around 35-40 minutes, until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
The almonds will start to brown but the cake less so as there is no fat in the mixture.
Leave to cool in the tin (if you can wait that long). This also makes a delicious pudding when warm.