Perfect match: quince crumble cake and tawny port

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 10 people

  • 550 gm caster sugar
  • 250 ml sangiovese verjuice (see note)
  • 2 thin pieces lemon rind, removed with a peeler
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 (about 800gm) quince, quartered, peel and cores reserved
  • 150 gm softened butter
  • 135 gm caster sugar
  • 120 gm brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 gm crème fraîche, at room temperature
  • 170 gm self-raising flour
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp finely ground cinnamon
  •  
  • Crumble topping
  • 85 gm brown sugar
  • 60 gm roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 35 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm plain flour
01   Preheat oven to 140C. Simmer sugar, verjuice, lemon rind, cinnamon quills, star anise and 1.5 litres water in a casserole over medium heat until a light syrup forms (5-10 minutes). Wrap quince peel and cores in a square of muslin, tie and add to casserole with quince. Cover and bake until quince are tender and light ruby in colour (2-3 hours). Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside to cool then coarsely chop. Reduce 400ml poaching liquid over medium heat to syrup consistency (12-15 minutes; reserve remaining liquid for another use). Set aside to cool.
02   Increase oven to 160C. Beat butter and sugars in an electric mixer until pale (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add crème fraîche and beat to just combine, then stir through flours and cinnamon. Spoon half the mixture into a buttered and floured 24cm-diameter springform tin lined with baking paper. Scatter quince over, then pour over remaining batter and smooth top.
03   For crumble topping, combine ingredients and a pinch of fine sea salt in a bowl and rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over batter. Bake until cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre withdraws cleans (50 minutes-1 hour). Cool slightly in tin. Remove cake and cool to room temperature. Serve drizzled with quince syrup.
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