Apple & polenta cake

Apple & polenta cake

Cooking time
45 mins
Deidre Rooney

This is an incredibly easy Italian cake similar to the French dessert clafoutis – a dessert cake rather than a cake to eat for afternoon tea.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
100g dried figs
100g dried sour cherries
butter, for greasing
100g polenta
130g plain flour
100g ground almonds
100g breadcrumbs
100g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
500ml milk
100g honey
55ml olive oil
1 tablespoon orange-blossom water
icing sugar, for dusting
creme fraiche or whipped cream, to serve (optional)

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
500g eating apples
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 lemons, zested
1 orange, zested


  1. Put the figs and cherries in a bowl and cover with just-boiled water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes and drain. Chop the figs.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 23 cm round springform cake tin with butter and line the base with baking paper. Peel, core and slice the apples quite thinly. Immediately sprinkle them with the lemon juice.
  3. Mix the polenta, flour, ground almonds, breadcrumbs, salt and soft light brown sugar together in a large bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and add the milk, honey, olive oil and orange-blossom water. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the wet mixture, mixing as you do so. Add the soaked dried fruit, apples and the citrus zests and scrape into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes. The cake should be coming away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  5. Carefully peel off the baking paper before serving and turn the right way up – the cake is fragile so be careful. Sift the icing sugar over the top. Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream (if desired). The cake is best eaten lukewarm or at room temperature.
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