Spiced quince crumble cake with rose scented custard

With its crumbly topping and tempting spiced fruit centre, Celia Brooks Brown's glorious cake will prove a positive winner
By Celia Brooks Brown
Spiced quince crumble cake with rose scented custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the crumble:

  • 90 g slightly salted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 60 g golden caster sugar

For the cake:

  • 180 g softened salted butter
  • 180 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 180 g self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

For the fruit:

  • 350 g quince, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 350 g apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black cardamom seeds, crushed in a mortar

For the custard:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 50 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rose water
  • 600 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped


1. Heat oven to 190C/gas 5 and grease a 24cm springform cake tin with butter.

2. For the crumble: rub the butter into the flour with fingertips. When nice and crumbly, stir in the sugar and set aside.

3. For the cake: cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, alternating them with the flour until both are incorporated, taking care not to overbeat the mixture. Trickle in the milk and as soon it is combined, pour the cake batter into the prepared tin.

4. For the fruit: In a large bowl, toss together the quinces, apples, golden caster sugar and cinnamon. Spread the fruit over the cake batter in an even layer and sprinkle with the crushed cardamom. Top with the crumble mixture then bake for about an hour, until the cake is firm and has shrunk away from the sides of the tin.

5. For the custard: while the cake is cooking, make the custard. Put the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and rose water in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Combine the cream, split vanilla pod and vanilla seeds in a saucepan, place over a medium-low heat and bring to just below simmering point.

6. Lift out the vanilla pod and set aside. Pour the hot cream steadily over the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and whisk over a low heat until thick. Pour custard into a serving jug and cover with cling film to stop a skin forming.

7. Serve the cake warm with the custard.

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