15 November 2010

Chestnut Sponge Dessert with Apple & Quince

I say "dessert", to distinguish it from a sponge cake as this is very definitely a "sponge in a dish".

This dessert sponge was something of an experiment.  I had been given a bag full of Quinces from a friend who grew them for the decorative effect in the garden, but not for use in the kitchen.

I have never tangled with Quince before and for all that I’d seen many recipes that involved their use, I hadn’t any great plan for them.  Because of this, I firstly investigated how best to keep them – would Quince freeze, for example.

Having cut them in half and oven-roasted them with a little sugar and water in a covered dish, I was able to squeeze the core and pips out and discard them.  This resulted in a gorgeously aromatic little bowl of extremely tart fruit flesh.

The taste – once you stop wincing from the sourness – is somewhat reminiscent of apple.  I knew I had a cooking apple in the fridge, which was looking for a home.  Cue one Apple & Quince Sponge pudding, with the fruit in a gorgeously tart layer below a sponge made with roasted Chestnut crumbs (we'd foraged the Chestnuts some weeks ago and the roasted crumbs had been in the freezer ever since), which was an absolute treat with some vanilla ice cream.


Ingredients :

3 tbsp Quince pulp
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
a half a cup of sugar
a half a cup of flour
a half a cup of roasted chestnut crumbs
a half a cup of milk
1 tsp baking powder
a quarter teaspoon of salt

Method :

1.  Pre-heat oven at 180deg C. 

2.  Place the sliced apple, quince, honey, sugar and water into the bottom of a small casserole dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes, then stir to combine and set aside.

3.  In another bowl, place the flour, sugar, milk, baking powder, salt and chestnut crumbs and whisk together until they resemble a thickish batter.

4.  Pour over the fruit, then place into the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm, with vanilla icecream or greek yoghurt.


  1. Sounds delicious, especially with chestnuts. Wasn't it a real pain to peel them though? I've made quince jelly which is wonderful, but never put in a sponge before.

  2. I just glad you managed to use them. Sounds a wee bit fussy, though. Would you use them again?

  3. Choclette : it was indeed delicious. I peeled the chestnuts whilst I was sitting watching t.v. on the day that we foraged them. Basically, I roasted them, then peeled them, then blitzed them into crumbs and then put them in the freezer. A month or so later, I decided to put them in the sponge! So, it wasn't such a pain. :) I can recommend the quince with the apple, it was really different and very yummy. I bet it'd go really well with a ginger sponge, too.

    Lozzie : I suppose it sounds fussy because it involved a number of different stages, but in truth those stages took place at different times, so it wasn't difficult at all. I've put the second half of the Quince into the freezer for next time - so that will be easy peasy. :) I would definitely use them again - in fact, I've got my eye on some I spotted in a hedge the other day. LOL

  4. I stopped and collected the feral Quinces I spotted in the hedge - they're lovely little gold beauties!


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