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3 whole quince
6 cups water
1½ cup sugar
1 star anise
1 orange, rind only
¾ cup sugar
1¾ cup self-raising flour
125g butter, softened plus 1 tsp for greasing
3 tsp orange zest
⅓ cup quince syrup
Optional (for serving)
2 Tbsp toasted hazelnuts, lightly crushed
Begin by preparing the quince.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Add the star anise and orange zest. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Peel and core the quince. Cut the quince into 10mm thick slices. Place in the syrup as you go. Once all the quinces are done, place some baking paper snugly over the quinces.
Continue poaching the quince for an hour or until tender. Turn off the heat and leave in the syrup to cool.
Once cool, remove the quince from the syrup with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Return the poaching liquid to the heat and reduce until you have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.
Strain and set aside.
To make the cake
Heat the oven 170degC. Lightly grease a 18cm loose bottom round cake tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.
Add the eggs, sugar, flour, softened butter and orange zest to the bowl of your mixer. Add one third of the poaching liquid and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed and continue beating for a further 2 minutes.
Spread the cake batter evenly in the cake tin.
Arrange the quince slices over the top of the cake and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Warm the remaining syrup and spoon gently over the cake and allow it to absorb into the cake.
Cool the cake in the tin.
Sprinkle over the hazelnuts, if using.
The cake is best eaten at room temperature and will last for 3-4 days.