This Italian-inspired delight can be served for dessert, a coffee break, or breakfast.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated or raw sugar
- 2/3 cup polenta
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 lemon, grated
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 whole cloves, 2 whole allspice, and 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup orange juice or water
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup prunes, chopped
- 2 TBS raisins (optional)
- 1 pear or apple, peeled and diced
- 1- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter or oil an 8- or 9- inch round cake pan, and dust it with flour. In a large bowl, use a whisk to thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, polenta, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside momentarily.
- 2- In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, orange juice or water, melted butter, and eggs. Beat for 3-4 minutes with a whisk or stand mixer until the mixture is thoroughly combined and starts to look lighter and fluffier.
- 3- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix very gently until everything is combined. If you’re using an electric mixer, do this step on low. You don’t want to overmix this batter or it will become heavy. Pour the batter into the pan, and bake 30-40 minutes until a skewer poked through the center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes, turn out the cake onto a plate or wire rack if you have one, and cool completely.
- 4- While the cake is in the oven, make the fruit compote. Put the cloves, allspice, and cinnamon in a tea strainer or wrap them in cheesecloth if you have it (this will make them easier to remove at the end)– and add the spices to a small saucepot. If you don’t have cheesecloth, don’t worry. Just put the spices directly into the little pot and you can pick them out with a fork at the end. Add all the other ingredients to the saucepot and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until fruit is tender and liquid is thick. Remove the spices, pour the compote over the cake, and serve.