Quince and chestnut crumble cake

12
3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Quince

  • 2 large quince, weighing approximately 700g, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1l water
  • 440g of caster sugar
  • 140ml of sweet Marsala wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, halved
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Crumble topping

  • 25g of plain flour
  • 35g of soft brown muscovado sugar
  • 40g of walnuts, chopped
  • 35g of unsalted butter, chopped

For the cake

  • 185g of self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 250g of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the tin
  • 220g of soft brown muscovado sugar
  • 220g of chestnut purée, unsweetened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60ml of whole milk

Method

1
To begin, prepare the quince. Place the water, caster sugar, Marsala, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod in a medium pan over a low heat. Stir continually until all the sugar has dissolved
2
Add the quince quarters to the syrup and cover with a cartouche with a small hole cut in the middle to allow steam to escape (a cartouche is a round of parchment paper cut to fit snugly in the pan). Simmer for 2 hours or until the fruit is deep red and tender. The syrup should be nicely reduced
3
Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl to cool, reserving the syrup. When cool, cut the quince quarters in half
4
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 24cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper
5
Make the crumble topping by combining the flour, sugar, walnuts and cubed butter in a bowl. Rub the butter into the mixture until it forms coarse crumbs then set aside
6
Sieve the flour, mixed spice and baking powder into a bowl and add the almonds. Set aside
7
Place the butter and sugar into an electric mixer bowl and beat until the mix is pale and fluffy. Add the chestnut purée and beat until just smooth
8
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture and milk until just combined
9
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread until level. Arrange 12 quince slices in a circular pattern on top, then 4 slices in the centre. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top
10
Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
11
Serve warm or cool, drizzled with the reserved syrup. The cake is best eaten on the day of making