There's no better autumn breakfast—or dessert—than this apple-polenta cake, spiked with dried fruits, honey, citrus zest, and nutty-tasting walnut oil.
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter softened
  • 1/2 cup polenta (yellow cornmeal may be substituted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. honey plus 1/2 cup for garnish (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit such as apricots, cherries, cranberries, figs, and raisins
  • 1/2 pound Gala, Fuji, or Pink Lady apples (about 2 apples) peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts plus 1/2 cup whole walnuts for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 350°. With softened butter, grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In a large bowl, combine polenta, flour, bread crumbs, and sugar. In another bowl, combine milk, egg, 2 tablespoons honey, and walnut oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; mix well with a spoon. Fold in dried fruit, apples, cinnamon, orange zest, lemon zest, chopped walnuts, and salt; stir.

    Pour mixture into prepared tart pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown and firm. After 25 minutes, check on cake; it may need to be covered with foil if it is getting too brown. (The cake will not rise much.)

    Remove from oven, cool slightly; dust with powdered sugar. Drizzle slices with honey, and add a sprinkling of whole walnuts. Serve warm.


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