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Recipe Category: Cakes

Quince Polenta Cake

Poached quinces nestled into a rustic polenta cake base.

Makes: 1 x 25cm cake
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours (to cook quince) | 45 minutes (for cake)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 quinces, cut into quarters, peeled and cored
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • CAKE
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups raw sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • raw sugar, for sprinkling
  • double cream, for serving

Combine water and brown sugar in a large ovenproof pot and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add quince, spices and vanilla and simmer covered for 4 hours over low heat or in a slow oven (160°C) until quince is soft and ruby red in colour. Allow to cool. The cooking liquid may be boiled down until syrupy to use for serving.

Butter and line the base of a 25cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Cream butter, sugar and orange rind together in a mixer until light and creamy. The sugar will still be grainy. Gradually beat in eggs. The mixture may appear curdled at this stage. Fold in polenta, flour, baking powder and orange juice. Spoon into tin and level out. Cut poached quince into slices and arrange decoratively on top. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake at 170°C for 40-45 minutes until golden and cooked when tested. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve with cream and syrup.


Poached quinces can be cooked ahead and will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week or frozen for longer.

Any poached or canned fruit can be substituted and the cake is also nice cooked plain.

Recipe Type: Baking, Italian, Pastries

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 28/07/2020