We love quince almost as much as we love pomegranate. Fact. It's beautiful and delicious and somehow the fact that you can only eat it once it's been cooked, makes it more mysterious... Or maybe that's just us?!
We topped this cake with gaz, which is a traditional Iranian nougat studded with pistachio. In Berlin you can get gaz at the Persian supermarkets on Kant Str. Anyway, enough talking! More baking!
For the quince:
1 vanilla bean
1 small lemon
1 l water
250 ml white wine
100 g sugar
3 large quince
For the cake:
100 g softened butter
100 g golden caster sugar
100 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
gaz (persian sweet), optional
1. Split the vanilla bean down the center and carefully scrape the seeds. Set the seeds aside to use in the cake, and place the pod in a large saucepan. Use a paring knife to carefully cut thick strips of lemon zest (make sure not to get the white part, as this will make the poaching liquid bitter). Juice the lemon and add the juice with the water, wine and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil while you prepare the quince.
2. Peel, core and quarter the quince and add to the pot. Place a small, heat-proof plate over the quince to keep them submerged, keep the liquid at a simmer. Cook until the quince are rosy and tender, about 40 mins - 1 hour, you may need to add more water to keep the quince submerged. Remove from heat, carefully remove the quince and reserve the poaching liquid for later.
3. For the cake: Heat oven to 180°C (fan). Line a 20 cm springform cake with baking paper, grease with butter. Arrange the quince slices on bottom of the tin. Place the cake ingredients in a bowl along with 2 tbsp of the poaching liquid.
4. Using an electric whisk, beat to a soft consistency. Spoon the cake mix into the tin on top of the quince and smooth it out so it’s even. Bake for 35 mins or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate.
5. For the pomegranate molasses syrup: Reduce the poaching liquid for around 20 minutes on high heat until reduced by half. Add 3 tbsp of pomegranate molasses and reduce again until a syrupy consistency.
6. To serve: Top the cake with broken up bits of gaz, drizzle with syrup and enjoy!