© David Loftus
bolognese polenta and apple cake
This is a superb moist cake, a bit like a clafoutis in France, but by adding breadcrumbs and using polenta it becomes very much like an Italian bread-and-butter pudding. It’s something that Italians would cook in the embers of the fire after dinner.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a shallow 11-inch tart tin with a removable bottom. Mix the polenta, flour, breadcrumbs, and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, honey, and olive oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, making sure you stir it all together well. Add the figs, raisins, apples, cinnamon, orange and lemon zest, and salt, and stir again.
Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Keep an eye on it – you may need to cover it with some aluminum foil if you find that it starts to brown too much at the edges. Before serving, sprinkle some granulated sugar over it. Then make sure you eat it warm – lovely with a dollop of crème fraîche and a glass of vin santo!
• a dollop of butter
• 1 cup polenta
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
• 2 cups stale breadcrumbs
• 1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for dusting
• 2 1/4 cups whole milk
• 3 large free-range eggs, preferably
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 3 1/2 oz• dried figs, chopped or torn up
• 3 1/2 oz• raisins or sultanas
• 1 lb• 2 oz• firm eating apples, peeled, cored, and roughly diced
• 1/2 a teaspoon ground cinnamon
• zest of 2 oranges
• zest of 2 lemons
• 1 teaspoon salt