My first project since moving into my new apartment is a rum-poached quince upside-down cake. I found the quince at our local Safeway, which was a huge surprise for me. I hardly ever see quince commercially sold anywhere, and definitely not at the start of summer. Quince is normally a winter fruit and has a tangy flavor that is really complemented by the warm flavors one normally associates with the season. But I had to have them anyway, and I knew it would be a fun challenge to turn this winter fruit into a summer sensation.
It was decided. I would poach the quince in some spiced rum and then make a very subtle lime-cake to accompany them. Raw quince are basically impossible to eat, so you must cook them in order to make them edible. I used Kraken Spiced Rum because I don't actually like any other kind. Since the rum was already spiced, I didn't add anything else to the poaching liquid besides some raw sugar and water. It takes a long time to poach quince, so if you have a lot of them in your pan, expect it to take a few hours. I had two and it took 30-45 minutes. When you can pierce through the flesh easily, with no resistance, they are done. Thankfully, quince are also quite forgiving, so if you forget about them they won't immediately turn to mush on you either.
Cake recipe is derived from Dessert of the Day by Kim Laidlaw.
For the pan bottom:
5 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp of reserved poaching liquid
For the cake:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 Tbsp lime juice
Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 9-in round cake pan.
Beat together the ingredients for the bottom of the pan. Pour into the greased pan and then evenly arrange your quince on top. I am always partial to the nice spiral design, but that's just me.
In a separate bowl, combine and sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and remaining wet ingredients in alternating batches, ending with the dry.
Pour batter on top of quince and bake until the center is fully cooked. Remove from pan right away by inverting it onto a serving tray or plate. Let rest for at least 30 min before serving.