How to make quince-and-walnut crumble cake

Our kitchen garden cook bakes quince-and-walnut crumble cake, a delicious autumnal pudding which will satisfy seasonal glut.

Only available when it’s actually in season, quince really is a treasure that’s unique in flavour.

Quince-and-walnut crumble cake

Serves 4


For the quince

  • 250ml red wine
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1tspn ground cinnamon (or 1 stick)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1tspn vanilla-bean paste (or split pod)
  • 250ml water
  • 1 large quince

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For the crumble

  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g almonds
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g unsalted butter

For the cake

  • 220g unsalted butter
  • 220g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tspn ground cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50ml milk

Add the red wine, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and water to a large saucepan. Quarter the quince, removing the core and skin and adding each piece to the saucepan as you work – otherwise, it browns terribly quickly. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour, topping up the liquid if necessary. Set aside to cool so the fruit is easier to handle, then cut into slices, reserving the syrup to serve.

Make the crumble by briefly pulsing together the nuts, sugar, flour and butter in a processor until they’re the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4 and grease a 10in spring-form cake tin. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the eggs and whisk into the mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon, baking powder, self-raising flour and ground almonds.

Add this to the wet ingredients in three batches, adding half the milk between each one. Fold through until just mixed and pour into the prepared tin. Scatter with the crumble topping and arrange the slices of quince on top. Bake for about 50–60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Serve drizzled with the quince poaching syrup and a dollop of double cream.

More ways with quince

Quince-and-walnut crumble cakeQuince paste

Core, peel and chop 1kg of quinces. Simmer in a pan, with enough water to cover the fruit, until very soft, then drain. Weigh the fruit and measure out an equal amount of sugar. In a food processor, blitz the cooked fruit until very smooth, then return to the pan with the sugar and cook over a low heat for about 2 hours. Line a shallow-sided baking tray with clingfilm, pour in the quince paste and refrigerate until set. Delicious served with cheese.

Quince purée

Add 100g of quince paste (see above) to a saucepan with 50ml of white wine, a sprig of rosemary, 2 sprigs of thyme, 100ml of chicken stock and seasoning. Mix well and simmer, then serve alongside slow-roast pork belly and celeriac mash.

Quince crumble

Peel and core 3 quinces, cut into large chunks and arrange in an ovenproof dish. Pour in enough water to cover the fruit, drop in a vanilla pod and bake in a moderately hot oven for an hour. Rub together 200g of flour, 100g of chopped and toasted hazelnuts, 150g of butter and 150g of brown sugar. Once cooked, remove the quince from the oven, pour off the water and sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar over them, followed by the crumble topping. Return to the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden.