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.
CHESTNUT SPONGE WITH APPLE & QUINCE (Serves 3-4)
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
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.