That’s what friends are for….

I am constantly amazed at how wonderful the food blogging community is. When I started my little blog a few years ago I had no idea it would open me up to “meeting” such phenomenal people. I use meeting in quotes because I have on really met a few of my fellow bloggers in person(though I am working on that!). One of those bloggers that I was lucky enough to encounter in real life was Elle, over at Feeding My Enthusiasms. We had a wonderful lunch together while she was in town visiting her daughter. It was around the time of my birthday and she spoiled me with gifts galore, everything from sea salt to chocolate to sourdough starter…a truly generous person. Well, her generosity did not stop there. A few weeks ago on her blog she had made some gorgeous quince jelly. I had made a comment on there how much I adored quince and how underrated a fruit it really was. I find that most people don’t even know what a quince is, which is such a shame. If you are one of those people go here, to learn all about the fruit of love.
Anyway, back to her generosity. Elle had asked me in an email if I would like some of those quinces from her back yard and I immediately jumped at the chance! So just a few days later there at the mailbox was my box of quinces. My husband was the one to get the box and when I caught up with him he told me, “I think your perfume spilled inside the box.” I just laughed and said, “that’s not perfume, that’s fruit.” You see the quince is a very fragrant fruit, in fact, my whole apartment smelled like quince for quite a few days. It smells even better when it is being cooked down.
What to do with them was another story. As much as I adore quince, I only have it out…usually in the form of quince paste along side my cheese platter. I knew I wanted to make a small batch of the jelly that Elle made but also wanted to do a baked good. I found a recipe for quince pound cake on It got 4 stars and so I decided to go for it. It is a two parter. The first being boiling down the fruit and the second being the making of the cake and then later on folding the quinces in. The recipe has you discard the juices that are left after you boil down the quinces but I could bring myself to throw it out. So I just added a little bit of powdered sugar to it to make a sauce to drizzle over it.
The one thing I did learn about the quince is that it is a sticky little sucker. It has so much natural pectin in it(so much you don’t add any to make the jam) that it seemed to stick everywhere. Even after washing my hands 5 times, I still had a little stick. I thought for awhile that I might just keep it on my hands and see if I could climb the walls like Spiderman….but something told me that would spell disaster. :P
Quinces are just coming into season. If you are lucky your grocery store might carry them(just don’t bother to ask the clerk where they are). I highly recommend getting to know this fruit if you do not.
Thanks again to you Elle for my great gift of quinces! You truly are such a lovely and generous woman!

Quince Pound Cake
2 medium quinces (about 1 pound total)
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Peel, quarter, and core quinces. Cut quarters crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan bring quince, water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 hours (quince will be deep pinkish orange). Drain quince in a large sieve and transfer to paper towels. Pat quince dry and cool. Chill quince, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg yolk
3 whole large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan, knocking out excess flour.

Into a bowl sift together twice flour, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until combined well. Add yolk and whole eggs, 1 at a time, to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat in half of flour mixture and all of cream until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and vanilla, beating until just combined. Fold quince slices into batter until combined well and spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake cake in middle of oven 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely. (Cake keeps, in an airtight container at room temperature, 4 days.)

Serves 10 to 12.

Source: Gourmet Magazine, January 1998


  1. That’s so sweet of Elle! Quince is totally underrated. I’m glad you’re getting the word out about how great quinces are.

  2. Well, I am one of the people that have never had a quince – although I have heard of them!! I feel so sheltered here sometimes – not being exposed to many of the wonderful things this world has to offer!

  3. Lovely way to use quince! I will have to bookmark this recipe.

  4. For some reason I had in my head that a quince was a tropical fruit. Since I don’t partake in purchasing anything not grown locally, I had to give the fragrant suckers up. I am now tremendously happy to know that they aren’t!!! YAY!

  5. I finally got around to use the ones she sent me and I have to say the only reason why I waited was because of the great perfume the fruit sent out throughout the house!This is a great recipe to use some of them. Especially with that drizzle of syrup on top! yum!!!

  6. I have to say that I am not a fan of quince….only had it once on a chicken sandwich. Perhaps it’s better sweet than savory. I do love how so many food bloggers are meeting up! What a great thing.

  7. Yummy! Once I get home I’m going to bake this cake. Great idea to use the juices for a sauce. Making friends like you over the ‘net really has been fun.

  8. oh–that looks great! i love quince, too, and how their color magically transforms when cooked!

  9. So fun that you had the chance to meet Elle! Love the fragrance of quince (I keep sticking my nose in the bowl), the cake looks yum!

  10. That cake is gorgeous! Such a pretty color…

  11. Oh yum. I have been keen to try making quince jelly for a while now. You have inspired me to get on with it.

  12. I too have never had a quince, though through the blogging world I have heard of them. What are they supposed to taste like?
    And I too have noticed the kindness and generosity of our little blog world! Wonderful, wonderful people!

  13. Wonderful photographs. We all want a piece now!

  14. I have never come across quince as a fruit before. Most of the times, I tried it cooked in jelly form. what is amazing to me is your photo of the cake. Truly amazing. Great stuff.

  15. The closest I’ve come to quince is membrillo, and even that is not too easy to come by here…I’m really curious to try it now!

  16. Elle is quite the woman. Never had a quince, just had my first crab apple, didn’t dig it.

  17. Never had one before…I’ll keep an eye out for them. I imagined them being bland, not something that would smell up your kitchen – I’m intrigued!

  18. I too have no idea about them…yes, food blogging is wonderful indeed :)

  19. well i have to admit i am ” one ” of those who have never tried this fruit before. so now that i know … if i come across them i’ll know what to do :p. Thanks for sharing.

  20. What a pretty cake…I have to say, I just love the color of the quince…its delicate, yet sort of vibrant at the same time. :-)

  21. What a fantastic gift, and what a wonderful post! I just joined this food blogging “community,” and your post makes me so glad I did — although now I wish I’d done it sooner! And, mmmm, quince…one of my absolute favorites…

  22. Hello Peabody. I am new to your blog and find myself spending hours reading your blog and all the wonderful responses. I live in Florida and have recently started selling my baked goods at our local green market on Saturday mornings. I read and reread all your recipes with the intent of making an huge impact at the market and give you all the credit.

    Regarding quince, it’s simply amazing that one can pick a simple fruit and make such a delicious mouthful of heaven. I truly have never seen it, but perhaps a vendor at the green market might have some. Will have to check it out this weekend. By the way, is there a place one may post pictures of their masterpieces from your recipes? Since reading your blog and seeing all your wonderful photos, I too have been taking pictures of food…everything I bake or cook gets a picture. My family thinks I’m wierd, but then I tell them about you and all your incredible work, and then they understand. Perhaps you have to be a “foodie” to really understand. Anyhoo, I am truly inspired by you and ask that you continue your wonderful work as it is truly appreciated.

  23. This is the first that I have ever heard of Quince. It sounds pretty interesting. I will have to look around for it to try. Your pound cake looks really good.

  24. Looks lovely, peabody. Our first quince are just around the corner. I do, however, have a small jar of quince jelly I snagged in Julian, CA when I was there last fall. It’s amazing on fruit tarts…

    And wow! Will Kimmi above be sending you more than just credit? Just kidding! But still…

  25. That’s a nice story and the cake looks delicious :)

  26. How generous! What a delicious looking dessert.

  27. I am one who never heard of quince…a very interesting post, and the dessert looks delicious!

  28. Aww that’s so sweet! Love the glaze you made with the juice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quince before. I’ll definitely have to try it!

  29. I can’t get any quince around my parts but I have heard good things about them and this cake looks delectable as always. I just posted a similar blogging experience but my gift was the gift of jam. Here’s to bloggy friendships!

  30. aha, now I know what I can make with the rest of my quinces!

  31. Bloggers rule in my book! How fun to receive the quince from Elle, and you did good, the pound cake looks utterly scrumptious – and that drizzled sauce throws it over the top!

  32. I love quince (quinces?). If only they were a bit easier to come by. I’ve managed to buy them twice in 20 years! …but I still look for them :)

    Gorgeous cake too.

  33. I love quinces, my nanny always made them for me when I was little (she was Catalan). Unfortunately, you can barely find them on the east coast! You are truly lucky to have such a friend!

  34. What a lovely cake and what a wonderful friend to send you the quince!

  35. Great recipe!! I had my first attempt at quinces about a month ago and I didn’t cook them long enough (clearly, after reading your recipe) so was sad they didn’t turn sweet and red-ish, but I WILL be trying again – your cake looks amazing.

    Agree re: the sauce, it would be heartbreaking to discard. :)

  36. I admit it, I’ve never had quince. The only information I have on it comes from ‘The Owl And The Pussycat’… but this is enough to inspire me ^__^

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