Friday, April 18, 2008

Challenge Book #8 - Quince Fiesta - Poached Quince, Quince Yeast Cake

Onto Part II of the great quince quest. The next thing to do with my quince bonanza seemed obvious - poaching. This is perhaps the most traditional way to cook quinces. It's easy peasy and it is wonderful to watch the quinces transform from bland beige to a gloriously rich ruby red.

The recipe I used includes a vanilla bean. Unfortunately, I didn't have any. So I simply added some vanilla extract at the end. That added a lovely undertone. I think with a vanilla bean it would taste truly gorgeous.

Poaching also opens up a world of opportunities. I served my poached fruit with a choice of custard, thick double cream or vanilla ice cream. They can be also used in any number of delicious cakes, tarts, pies and crumbles. I haven't even mentioned the poaching liquid - you will have to wait for my next post for that.

I couldn't resist trying a quince yeast cake recipe I spotted in Maggie's Table (by Maggie Beer, see her orange passionfruit pound cake here). This is by the way Book #8 in the KJ wants a Kitchen Aid Challenge.

But I have to say I was a wee bit disappointed. It is a lovely looking cake to be sure. And I loved the soft springy texture. But the yeasty taste to the cake was overpowering.

I put this down to the fresh yeast that is available here in Canberra. I have always found the flavour too strong in anything I have made. I usually cut down the amount I use, but didn't on this occasion for some reason. I think I just forgot. My dough was also much softer than what the recipe suggests it should be. I didn't have to flatten it into the tin because I pretty much just poured it in.

Oh well, I think this cake has such potential that I decided to post the recipe anyway. Maybe someone else will have better luck with it.

Poached Quinces
(adapted from Cook's Companion)

6 quinces
2.25 litres of light sugar syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 lemon

Peel quinces and cut into quarters or sixths. Cut out cores and tie them loosely in some muslin. Put sugar syrup in a large cast iron casserole with the vanilla bean, muslin bag and lemon juice. Add the quinces.

Cover tightly and bake for at least four (and up to eight) hours in a 150C oven. The quinces should be a lovely deep red.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Split the vanilla bean and stir the seeds into the quince syrup.

Light Sugar Syrup

Heat 2 parts water to 1 part sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Quince Yeast Cake
(adapted from Maggie's Table)

15gm fresh yeast or 1 1/2 tspn dried yeast
1 tspn caster sugar
100ml warm water
150gm plain flour
2 small eggs
45gm soft unsalted butter
thick slices of poached quince
reserved syrup

Mix the yeast and sugar with the water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until frothy. Combine the yeast mix with the flour and eggs in electric mixer. Beat in the softened butter until the dough is soft and shiny. Add a little extra warm water if the dough appears dry.

Cover and leave for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Butter a 22cm sprinform cake tin and flatten the dough across the base. Arrange the sliced quince across the top of the dough. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

Brush the syrup (or you can use some melted quince jelly) across the top of the cake. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a 200C. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.


At 12:01 am, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

KJ, I have never baked a yeast cake, what an interesting idea!

At 3:22 am, Blogger Deborah said...

I love the look of the poached quinces! That is one thing I would love to do. Sorry the cake didn't turn out as well as you hoped for. It does look good, though!

At 8:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the color of the poached quince, it's so bright and saturated. i could go for a few pieces with some good bread and cheese right about now.

At 8:59 am, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Patricia, this is the first one I have tried. I have a recipe for an apple yeast cake, which I am going to try soon. hopefully, it will work out better.

Hi Deborah, thanks. I hope you get the chance.

Hi Michelle, thanks. So could I :}


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