Country Style - - COUNTRY COOK -

SERVES 8–10 200g raw al­monds 220g un­salted but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture 1 cup caster sugar 4 eggs, gen­tly whisked gen­er­ous pinch of finely ground sea salt 1 Meyer lemon, rind finely grated 1 rose­mary sprig, leaves finely chopped 80g self-rais­ing flour ic­ing sugar, to dust nat­u­ral yo­ghurt or crème fraîche, to serve AP­PLE-JUICE POACHED QUINCES 2–3 large quinces, peeled, cored, cut into thin wedges 7 cups unsweet­ened ap­ple juice 2 strips or­ange peel, white pith re­moved

To poach quinces, place quince, juice and rind in a large saucepan and bring to a sim­mer over a very low heat. Keep liq­uid at barest sim­mer (only oc­ca­sional bub­ble) for 4–5 hours or un­til cooking liq­uid has re­duced to a thick, unc­tu­ous syrup. Re­move two-thirds of quince from syrup and drain well. Pre­heat oven to 175°C. Grease a 23cm spring­form pan. Process al­monds in a food pro­ces­sor or blen­der un­til finely ground. Us­ing an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with a whisk at­tach­ment, beat but­ter and caster sugar un­til very pale and creamy. Grad­u­ally add egg, whisk­ing well af­ter each ad­di­tion and en­sur­ing egg is com­pletely in­cor­po­rated be­fore adding more. (A well whisked mix­ture will en­sure cake has a light tex­ture.) Add salt, lemon rind, rose­mary, flour and ground al­monds, and gen­tly fold un­til well com­bined. Spoon into pre­pared pan and smooth sur­face. Ar­range drained quince in a cir­cu­lar pat­tern over top of cake. (Quince may set­tle into cake — this will keep it lovely and moist.) Bake for 40–45 min­utes or un­til golden brown and a skewer in­serted into cen­tre comes out clean. Set aside in pan for 10 min­utes to rest. Re­move cake from pan and trans­fer to a wire rack to cool. Dust cake with ic­ing sugar while slightly warm. Slice and serve with re­main­ing quince and yo­ghurt.

Almond & rose­mary cake with ap­ple-juice poached quinces

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