This upside-down apricot & cherry polenta traybake has become something of a seasonal tradition here in Belleau. To be honest it’s so easy to make and so delicious and such a wonderful celebration of these seasonal stoned fruit that I simply have to make it every June. I’ve changed it up very slightly since last time with the addition of some wonderful Spanish cherries. These add a burst of colour as well as that wonderful flavour of sunshine.
What’s so brilliant about this upside-down apricot & cherry polenta traybake is not only is it utterly delicious but it’s also totally gluten-free. Not particularly by any design, it’s just one of those cakes that works better with ground almonds and polenta rather than traditional flour. You could actually make it dairy-free too by substituting the butter with olive oil or coconut oil but I’d suggest you reduce the amount down to 180ml.
However you make it it’s also one of those cakes that just gets better the longer you leave it. If you’re lucky enough to have any slices left by day three I promise you it will be so wonderfully moist and delicious you’ll regret eating the rest of it… maybe!
I picked up the stunning apricots and cherries from our local farm-shop Shaws who have stopped delivering but continue to run their wonderful shop on their farm in Alvingham just outside Louth. Open from 9am till 4pm Tuesday – Saturday.
for the cake
- 225g soft unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 100g fine polenta
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large free-range eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- roughly 9 apricots – halved (longways) and then each half sliced longways so you have 2 large and 2 smaller disks
- roughly 15 cherries – cut in half and de-stoned
Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm x 9cm baking tray and pre-heat the oven to 180°C – sprinkle the base of the tray with Demerara sugar and set aside
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale
Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while. Finally, beat in the lemon zest.
Lay the cut apricots into the base of the tray and and then carefully spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes
The cake is cooked if a skewer comes out cleanish and the edges of the cake begin to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin. When it’s cool, invert the cake onto a tray or chopping board and slice into squares to serve.
Eat and of course, enjoy!