video by Pete Lockhart
I'm so excited to share a new video with you today, along with the recipe for this amazing and very easy crumb cake! It's the kind of recipe I know I will make over and over again, switching out the fruit and maybe adding some warm spices, depending on the season. I saw this cake, which is by the legendary Fergus Henderson, pop-up on the Herriot Grace blog last month and immediately thought to make it with quince. I used the roasted quinces from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, which is one of my very favorite books from this fall's releases. This recipe makes for the most vibrantly hued quince I've ever cooked. They were practically neon!
The cake itself has a very dense crumb and a generous amount of sandy, crumbly topping which is nicely offset by lots of fruit. It would be the perfect thing to serve at a holiday brunch and you could definitely bake it a day ahead of time.
Quince Crumb Cake
This cake was originally made with sliced rhubarb, but you could substitute an equal quantity of just about any fruit. Nikole made this cake with gorgeous pluots, but I imagine that plums would also be lovely or apples, pears, or even sweetened fresh cranberries. Use your imagination! The original recipe calls for macerating the fruit with a bit of sugar and citrus zest, for this version I just added a bit of the syrup leftover in the quince pan after roasting to mimic the juices that would have accumulated after roasting the fruit.
one pound roasted quince, cut into 1-inch pieces (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons quince syrup (from the roasting pan)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
scant 2/3 cup sugar or caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups self rising flour
scant 1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375ºF and line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly stream in the eggs and beat until well combined. Fold in the flour and salt, followed by the milk.
To make the crumble, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter and mash the mixture together with your fingertips until well combined and like wet sand.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with the quince and their syrup. Spread the crumble over the top evenly.
Bake the cake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60-75 minutes. If the crumble gets too dark before the cake cooks, tent the pan with foil.
Serve warm with creme fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream.
This recipe makes beautiful rosy quince that are quite tart, due to the generous amount of lemon juice. When cooked this way the quince hold their shape quite well making them perfect for all sorts of uses. This book was written with gram measurements in mind so they are listed below, as in the original recipe.
4 or 5 quince
300g ( 1 1/2 cups) sugar
100g (7 tablespoons) water
200g (3/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 355ºF/180ºC.
Peel and core the quince and cut them into wedges by cutting them in half from top to tail and then cutting each half into thirds. Spread the wedges in a single layer in a large, heavy-bottomed gratin or roasting dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and cover with the water and lemon juice. Add the zest, bay leaves, and vanilla bean. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 23-35 minutes or until deep pinky orange and tender to the touch.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 month.