Full Recipe

Spiced Quince Cake


I think this would also work well with pears, cooking apples and other seasonal fruit particularly anything that is a bit tart.


For poaching the quinces

1.5 litres water

150g caster sugar

3 medium quinces


For the cake

250g self-raising flour

½ each ground ginger, ground nutmeg and ground allspice

1½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

200g golden syrup

125g butter

125g dark muscovado sugar

2 eggs

240ml poaching syrup from the quinces


Line the base of a 22cms round tin, spray with cooking oil.


Pour the water into a large saucepan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Peel the quinces then cut them in half, rubbing the cut sides of each with the halved lemon to prevent them browning. Put the quinces into the sugar syrup, turn down the heat to a simmer then let the fruit cook for a good 40 minutes or until thoroughly tender. Remove the pan from the heat and let the quinces cool a little in their syrup.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.


When the quinces are cool enough to handle, take them out one at a time and gently cut out the cores. Cut each piece in half. Reserve the syrup. Dry the fruit with paper towels then arrange them, hollow side up, in the base of the cake tin.


Sieve together the flour, spices, salt and bicarb. Put the golden syrup, butter and muscovado in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat.


Break the eggs into a bowl, pour in 240ml of the quince cooking syrup and beat gently to mix. Remove the butter and sugar mixture from the heat and pour it into the flour and spice, stirring smoothly and firmly with a large metal spoon. Mix in the syrup and egg. The mixture should be glossy and a little runny, not thick and creamy like a usual cake mixture and with no traces of flour.     Scoop the mixture over the quinces and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly firm and springy to the touch then remove from the oven and leave to cool before turning out and removing the paper.


Serve in thick slices with crème fraiche, whipped cream or plain yoghurt.