Make Ahead

Stone Fruit Almond Polenta Cake

August 13, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by What We Eat Gals
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

Based on the New York Times recipe for “Peach Polenta Cake”

This cake might just be the only good thing about the end of summer, when stone fruit is at it’s best. I used a combination of yellow peaches, red plums and nectarines but you can take your pick of any variation, including apricots. The polenta gives the cake a delightful grainy texture while the tender, slowly baked fruit give the cake its sweet and sour flavor. The caramel is just the icing on top. —What We Eat Gals

What You'll Need
  • Caramel
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • A squeeze of lemon, reserve the zest
  • Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 sticks + 4 tbs Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-8 Pitted stone fruit, sliced in half (I used peaches, plums and nectarines)
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 cups Almond flour
  • 1 cup Polenta, or grainy corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon & juice of half the lemon
  • 4 Eggs
  • A generous pinch of Maldon Salt to serve (optional)
  • Crème fraîche whipped cream to serve* (optional)
  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 300 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper so the paper extends half-an-inch above the pan. This will prevent the cake from overflowing. I put a back up baking sheet on the rack below just incase.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat sugar, water and a fresh squeeze of lemon over medium heat. Whisking occasionally until the color resembles maple syrup. Remove from heat and add in butter. Pour into the cake pan to cool slightly* (see note) and cover with stone fruit, flesh side down, arranging to fit as much fruit as possible, without overlapping.
  3. Meanwhile combine flour, almond flour, polenta, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add eggs one at a time, stirring until well combined, after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low until just combined, being careful not to over stir. Spoon the batter on top and in-between the fruit. Smooth over the top. Bake for 75-90 minutes until the top is golden brown and the cake is firm to the touch.
  4. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Turn the cake out onto a platter. Serve with with a sprinkling of Maldon salt and a scoop of crème fraîche whipped cream. Enjoy!
  5. Note: *It helped when the caramel solidified a little bit before adding the fruit because I could rearrange without the fruit sticking *To make crème fraîche whipped cream: whip a cup of heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon of sugar and two tablespoons of crème fraîche.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • acroft
  • Tcmmjp

2 Reviews

acroft September 8, 2022
Based on the earlier comments I reduced the sugar in the batter to about 1 3/4c and it’s so good! Texture is great. I had a big problem with the syrup spilling in the oven and creating a lot of smoke — on that note, recommend against a springform pan for this :)
Tcmmjp August 26, 2020
I am so disappointed in this recipe. I made it last night there is entirely too much sugar in the batter. And the recipe makes makes way more than will fit into a 9-in round pan, even with parchment as described. I could have fit it in a 13x9-in cake pan or multiple round pans. The caramel and the sugar in the cake is too much. Skip the caramel and cut the sugar by at least half a cup, if not more.