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8/7/09

The fruit of love

Over here there has been a lively discussion about singing. Whether one must have a 'good' voice to be able to really belt out a song. I liked the discussion started by "T" on her blog. She said she hesitated to sing out because her voice wasn't a good singing voice.

Well, I don't have a good voice, either. Never did. I used to say that people stopped singing whenever I joined in ........

Well this afternoon after lunch with my friend Bola, I returned home to a baking agenda. My family (not everyone but still about 20 strong) are arriving tomorrow for a party at our house.

First things first: I brought a little stack off favorite cd's down to the kitchen. Only then did I begin organizing and measuring. While dancing. Wiggling. And, yes, belting out tunes to Herbie Hancock's, "Possibilities". And to the Gypsy Kings --- both absolutely great for a dancing-singing- baking kind of day.

I was home alone. Heavenly. Perfect for doing what comes naturally. So I danced, slid, tapped my toes, wiggled my fanny, and sang my heart out. All off key and out of tune. And so what.
Oh Daniel Rice.
Oh Annie Lennox.
Oh Sting.
Oh and oh.

I live with two boys. One is 95; the other, the son, is my main man. Both were out for the day and evening. Thus, the volume of the music and reach of my voice.

With all that magic, energy, and love, I will the cakes into perfection. One is a blueberry cake, a tea cake really,
made with fresh Maine blueberries.
The other is a quince and almond cake made with New Hampshire
quince harvested last autumn, poached by moi, frozen in my fridge.
I am getting to the end of that harvest.

This is the recipe I use for quince cake. I got it from a blog called the Red Kitchen. And I make it exactly as outlined -- big surprise: I tend to think of recipes as 'inspirations' or 'jumping off places'.

Anyway, here it is and if you can get some fresh quince, give it a try!

Quince and almond cake

100g softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond meal
1 cup poached quinces, plus more slices for the top of the cake
few tablespoons of liquid from the poached quinces, or apricot jam, for glazing

Heat oven to 170°C. Line a springform baking tin.

Cream butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Sift together the flour and baking powder, and stir in the almond meal. Use a large metal spoon to fold dry ingredients into butter mixture.

Slice the cup of quinces into thinnish slices (about 3 or 4 mm thick) and then fold into cake mixture. Pour batter into prepared tin and smooth the surface a little. Slice remaining quinces to an equal thickness and arrange (patterned or as you please) on the top of the batter.

Bake for 40 minutes or until it can be cleanly skewered. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the outside of the tin.

Warm the quince liquid or jam in a small saucepan and brush lovingly over the top of the cake to glaze. The liquid will mostly soak in but will still give a wonderful warm glow to the cake.

This cake is made to be eaten warm, with cream, for afternoon tea, or for after dinner, or actually for anytime at all.

Quince's Ancient Provenance: It is believed that the quince long preceded the apple, and that many ancient references to apples were,in fact, references to quince, including the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Greek mythology associates the quince with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and many believe that the golden apple given to her by Paris was a quince.

Quince is also called the fruit of love. I was in love. With the day. The weather. And my cakes. Altogether lovely.

6 comments:

Celeste Maia said...

I am already drooling over your Quince and Almond Cake! I have been up on the mountains where there was no connection whatsoever, but what a magical place! The full moon seem from up there was magic, pure magic. The trip continues, but I think I will be able to connect from time to time.

justme said...

I don't believe I've ever eaten a quince. I would like to make your quince and almond cake as I love all things almond. Don't know if I could find quince around here, though, but I'm going to try! Sounds heavenly.

patstudio said...

Sally,
The recipe wants almond meal. I had a difficult time finding at first but found that ground almonds does the job just fine. I did forget to mention that the sugar in the recipe is 'castor' and I used regular old granulated sugar. Oh and I did find the almond meal in the grocery store with natural foods I think.

Thanks for your comment.

patstudio said...

Celeste,
It is wonderful to have you back in cyber space again. Will watch for more wonderful posts from you and an occasional email (?). . . so pleased for you to have this wonderful time with Bob.

T said...

Pat, great to hear you are singing on the other side of the world. I can hear you from here.

Sounds like a wonderful day, and that yummy quince. mmmmmmm
xt

patstudio said...

T, wish I could offer you a piece. And then after tea and cake we would sing together

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