Now unlike other things I buy, I actually had something planned for this ingredient. My attention had been drawn in the Spring issue of Dish (an issue that focused on the flavours of Spain) to a rather simple cake that was studded with cubes of Quince paste. Of further interest was that olive oil rather than milk or butter was used. That was enough to set me baking and with the weather cooling a little, there was no time like the present.
150 grams quince paste, diced
1 lemon, rind finely grated
150 grams caster sugar
225 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
125mls olive oil
50mls orange juice, approximate
Place the sugar into a bowl and grate the lemon straight over it. Rub the zest into the sugar to release its natural oils.
Sift together the plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar mixture until well amalgamated.
Break the eggs into a bowl and add the olive oil and orange juice. Whisk until combined and then pour into the dry ingredients.
Stir well to form a smooth batter.
Butter and flour a 4 cup capacity loaf pan.
Pour in a third of the batter into the pan and top with a third of the quince paste cubes. Cover with another third of batter. Sprinkle over with another portion of quince paste cubes. Cover with the remaining batter and dot the remaining cubes over the top.
Bake in a preheated 170°C/340°F until golden and cooked through - about 40 minutes. If you feel the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil and reduce the temperature.
Let it rest for a 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
If you like, give it a dusting of icing sugar before serving.
It's a moist cake with good texture - a lovely crust that isn't too hard and an enticing scent of cinnamon and lemon. To finish off, you get those pockets of quince paste every now and again that brings a different type of sweetness to the cake.
An excellent partner for tea or coffee.