Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread make such a nice treat! This is like an upside down cake and it tastes so delicious.

In the fall, I like to keep a bowl of fall fruit on the table for not only display, but for nibbling as well. I like to have some quince in the bowl as they give off a lovely fruity aroma when ripe.

Ripening Quince

Ripening Quince

Quince are similar to a cross between an apple and a pear. They look like fat flat-bottomed pears. Quince are green when unripe and soften to a creamy yellow when ripe. The aroma is also a clue to ripeness. The aroma is captivating and inspires poems  – The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Sir Edward Lear has the two dining on “mince and slices of quince”, cooked slices of course.

Inedible raw, unlike apples or pears, quince take on a lovely mellow flavor and maintain the sweet grainy pear-like texture when cooked. Unlike most apples, quince hold on to their shape when cooked. They don’t turn brown when sliced as apples do.

If you can’t find Quince, you can substitute apples and or pears if you like.

Quince and Gingerbread Cake

Prepare the Quince:

  • 2 pounds peeled, seeded and sliced quince
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons whole  butter

Place the water and sugar into a large saute pan, bring to a boil, stir and let boil until the sugar begins to become a light golden brown. Add the butter and the quince, stir to coat then simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the quince are tender and cooked through.

Set aside to cool slightly.

Butter the inside of a, 8″ cake pan or what ever cake pan you want to use. I baked some in large (really large) ramekins and another in a square pan. Whatever pan you use, be sure you have a plate large enough to invert the finished cake onto after baking. (More on this later)

You can choose to use pan spray rather than butter for the pan. This ensures the cake will turn out easily when done.

Pour and place the quince mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. If you like, arrange the fruit in a decorative manner as this will be the top of the cake when done.

Once the quince are cooling in the prepared pan, make the gingerbread.

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

For the Gingerbread:

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Add the molasses to the boiling water and stir in the baking soda. Allow this to cool while putting the rest of the cake together.

In a mixing bowl, mix then set aside:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream:

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) soft butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes, add 1 large egg yolk and vanilla; process until smooth.

On low-speed, add the flour mixture alternating with the water and molasses mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Mix the batter until smooth.

Pour the batter over the quince in the pan. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes. Place a plate on top of the pan and then invert the two so the cake comes out of the pan onto the plate.

To do this maneuver easily, place a kitchen towel, folded long way, on the counter top. Place the warm cake pan on the towel, put the plate you want to invert the cake onto upside down on top of the cake pan. Fold the ends of the towel over the cake pan and the plate. hold tightly, pick it up and flip it over and set it down. slide the towel out from under the plate, then lift off the cake pan and voila! The upside down cake should be correctly displayed.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt while still slightly warm.

Ginger has the ability to warm from the inside, the baked sweet and tart quince provide a comforting fall dessert, just perfect when the air gets nippy. I love this with a nice cup of tea.

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

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In My Kitchen, November 2013

Gearing up for the holidays! I love this time of year, preparing for big family meals, making clever little gifts from the kitchen, cookies and treats galore, is always so much fun!

I was late with the October In My Kitchen so I vowed to be on time with this one. Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts this great gathering of people all over the world sharing what’s “In My Kitchen”. Link back to Celia’s site to join in!

Tonight we are getting our first freeze of the season. The tomato plant that was planted back in April has turned out to be one monster of a plant, producing tomatoes the size of soft balls weighing between 9.5 and 16.4 ounces each! The plant has a basket full that should get harvested before the freeze. I’ll have to pull out my dad’s Green Tomato Chow Chow recipe, after we slice, bread and fry a couple first.

Final Harvest!

Final Harvest!

I enjoy a good fried green now and then, after I’ll try a pie.

I have fresh turmeric in my kitchen this month!

Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

I felt so lucky to find it. We’ve been using it for sautes, potatoes rice and all kinds of dishes. You do have to be careful though in that is notoriously famous for staining everything it comes in contact with, bright yellow. Fingers, boards, clothing, so use caution if you  don’t want anything stained by the intense color of fresh turmeric. I put a paper towel down on my cutting board before using fresh turmeric to protect it from stains.

Turmeric is a great healing spice so it is good to find ways to work some into your diet. One of my favorite dished to make with it is an Indian dish called “Aloo Gobi“. This is a dish made from cauliflower and potatoes and is very aromatic and delicious.

I started taking an online course from Rosalee de la Foret in Canada on “The Taste of Herbs.” This course takes 5 months and breaks herbs and spices into 5 categories. You learn about the healing properties and how to use the herbs and spices.

She approaches Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda concepts with an ease that makes it so understandable.

So far, I find it very informative. I’m glad I signed up.

Rosalee may offer the course again in the Spring so if you are interested, visit the Taste of Herbs website here: http://www.tasteofherbs.com/standby_pages/25720

Below is the blueprint that is the foundation of the course.

Isn’t that interesting?!

I found these adorable little dishes in a shop. I couldn’t resist them. Robert is wondering what I’ll use them for so I’ll have to put on the creative cap to show him how essential they are to have in my kitchen.

Irresistible small dishes

Irresistible small dishes

I have a big bowl of apples!

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

We gave some out for trick or treats last night along with mandarin oranges and organic lollipops. I drew pumpkin faces on the mandarins. When the kids got to choose, It was surprising how many chose fruit over the candy!

Trick or Treat Goodie Basket: Mandarin Oranges, Crisp Apples and Organic lollies

Trick or Treat Goodie Basket: Mandarin Oranges, Crisp Apples and Organic lollies

We made sure everyone got an orange, even the parents.

And then there was the time this month, I walked into the kitchen and saw a delicious plate set up and I ate it. Only later to realize I ate the photo shoot.

I’ll be cooking and hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year! I am so excited. I’ll have to plan on taking lots of photos and writing lots of posts with ideas for the upcoming holidays.

In the meantime, What’s in your kitchen this month?

I ate the photo shoot

I ate the photo shoot