Quince, walnut and honey cake
For the quince syrup
1 large quince A squeeze of juice from
a lemon 4tbspn runny honey
For the cake mixture 125g unsalted butter,
softened 150g light-brown muscovado
sugar 2 free-range eggs 1tspn cinnamon 2tbspn runny honey 75g chopped walnuts 175g self-raising flour
For the topping 2tbspn Demerara sugar 25g whole walnuts, halved
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚f/gas mark 4. Slice the quince into eighths and peel and core each slice. Next, cut the hard flesh into small, roughly half-centimetre cubes. Place in a saucepan with enough water to just cover them, toether with a squeeze of lemon juice (quince browns very quickly and may also stain white boards). Pour in the runny honey and bring to a boil before simmering for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
Remove the quince with a slotted spoon and set aside before boiling down the remaining water until you’re left with a few tablespoons of syrup. Set the syrup aside.
Prepare a 20cm-diameter loose-bottomed cake tin lined with parchment paper. To make the cake mixture, bring the softened butter and sugar to a fluffy, even consistency in a large bowl, using an electric beater, before adding the eggs, cinnamon and honey. Beat again. Add the cooked quince and chopped walnuts, folding evenly through with a large spoon, followed by the self-raising flour. Fold gently until just combined and then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about one hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is still hot, brush the top with the quince-and-honey syrup and then sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Remove from the tin to cool on a wire rack. Finally, decorate with the walnut halves. Serve the warm cake with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey.
‘Knobbly quince is a delicately fragrant fruit that fills the kitchen with the most incredible aroma'