A dense, velvety cake, studded with chopped apples and figs, redolent with citrus peel and warming spices. It’s also surprisingly innocent, since it’s made with whole grain Hodgson Mill Yellow Corn Meal, tons of fruit, and olive oil.
- 1 cup Hodgson Mill Yellow Corn Meal
- 1 3/4 cup Hodgson Mill All Purpose White Flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 12 oz. dried figs, divided (6 oz. chopped small, 6 oz. halved for top)
- 2-3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 4 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. orange zest, or 2 tsp. dried
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest, or 2 tsp. dried
- powdered sugar, for dusting
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 350°F. Chop all fruit. Chop half the figs roughly, about ¼- ½ inch cubes, and cut the rest in half (from pole to pole) for topping. As you cut the figs, be sure to remove the tough woody stem.
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon). Next, add the eggs, olive oil, honey, vanilla extract, and milk, stirring to form a smooth batter. Finally, stir in the 6 oz of chopped figs (reserve the ones cut in half), the chopped apples, orange and lemon zests. Stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan, then top with fig halves, being careful not to push them into the batter. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until browned and set. Let cool for thirty minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and loosen. Remove cake to platter and dust with a snowfall of powdered sugar. Serve warm or cold, sifting powdered sugar on top just before serving. Whipped cream or ice cream is an excellent optional topping too.
Keeps 2-3 days tightly wrapped in refrigerator. Cake will be moist like a bread pudding. Use good cooking apples -- I used 2 large Stayman; other good options include Rome, Jonathan and McIntosh.
Makes 1 10-inch cake, about 8 servings
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