Saturday, April 4, 2009

bolognese polenta and apple cake (bustrengo)


a knob of butter
100g/3½oz polenta
200g/7oz flour, sifted
100g/3½oz stale breadcrumbs
100g/3½oz sugar, plus extra for dusting
500ml/18fl oz whole milk
3 large eggs, beaten
100g/3½oz honey
55ml/2fl oz olive oil
100g/3½oz dried figs, chopped or torn up
100g/3½oz raisins or sultanas
500g/1lb 2oz firm eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly diced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest of 2 oranges
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt

Serves 8

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 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and butter a shallow 28cm/11 inch, loose-bottomed cake tin. 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 cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Keep an eye on it – you may need to cover it with some foil if you find that it starts to brown too much at the edges. Before serving, sprinkle over some caster sugar. Then make sure you eat it warm – lovely with a dollop of crème fraîche and a glass of vin santo!

This recipe is from Jamie Magazine, issue #2
and in Jamie's Italy

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