Servings: 10 to 12
Poached quinces turn a beautiful rosy color, which make a stunning top to the cake when arranged in concentric circles.
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Using a sharp knife, halve each quince and run the knife under the cores to remove them. Cut the quinces into 1/8th-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles in the the prepared cake pan until the bottom of the pan is covered. (You may have some slices of quince leftover to enjoy with cheese or add to applesauce). Pour 3/4 cup of the poaching syrup over the quinces, reserving the rest.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves into a medium bowl. Whisk in the almond flour and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, dark brown sugar, and honey on medium speed until creamy smooth and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed to combine them, then turn the speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, thick and emulsified, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Spoon the batter over the quinces in the pan, and with an offset spatula, gently and evenly spread it to the sides of the pan, smoothing the surface.
Bake the cake, rotating it 180 degrees after 20 minutes to ensure even browning, until it springs back lightly when touched, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. While still warm, run a knife around the sides of the cake and invert the cake gently onto the rack to cool completely. If any slices of quince break or are dislodged, gently place them back on the cake with a butter knife.
Before serving the cake, brush the surface of the quince with some of the leftover poaching syrup. Serve the cake with dollops of the unsweetened whipped cream (if using).
Make Ahead Tips
The quinces can be poached up to 2 weeks ahead and refrigerated in their poaching liquid.
Wrap and store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days.
A special dessert for your holiday table! We make this every year for Thansksgiving and it is always a crowd pleaser. The only challenge is cutting the quince, but is worth it!
I made this for Rosh Hashanah in place of my traditional apple honey cake. This cake is delicious! As for the poached quinces themselves, the syrup they make is amazing, I mixed some of the leftover into mashed sweet potatoes with extra butter and it made for a stunning side dish. I'm definitely going to make this cake again next year.
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