July is when I love to both cook with and eat all the delicious fruits that are readily available and at their best. I struggled to choose between two of my favourites, plums and cherries, both British and growing very happily in many of my neighbours allotments!
I opted for cherries with this delicious cherry, almond and polenta crumble cake, after looking through one of my very well thumbed cake books. I discovered a cake that I have not made before, so that settled the matter.
The book in question is called ” Gorgeous Cakes” by Annie Bell. She is one of my favourite cookery writers and I also use her “Vegetable Book” whenever I need vegetable recipe inspiration. The recipe which I have adapted from her book is the “cherry crumble cake”.
For me, the partnership of cherries and almonds works well and this is what I wanted to focus my recipe interpretation on. So, I added flaked almonds to the crumble topping and used half polenta, half self raising flour for the cake batter. I think that the lemon zest works well with the almost crunchy granular texture of the polenta grains.
I nearly didn’t get going with this because I realised I did not own a cherry stoner. Little did I know that a small veg knife works brilliantly for scooping out the little pips, and it a very satisfying job too. So, that saved me a visit to Lakeland for this week at least!
Cherry polenta crumble cake
A ripe and fruity cherry sponge topped with a light and nutty crumble topping
For the crumble topping 🙂
- 90 g plain flour
- 50 g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 90 g cold unsalted butter diced
- 25 g flaked almonds
For the cake:)
- 100 g unsalted butter softened
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 90 ml milk
- 65 g self raising flour
- 60 g polenta
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 lemon zest only
- 250 g cherries pitted
For the crumble topping:)
Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter into a bowl and break down the butter with you fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. You could use a food processor.
- Stir in the oats and flaked almonds
For the cake 🙂
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
- Butter and line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment
- Cream the butter and sugar together
- Add the egg, milk, flour, polenta, baking powder and lemon zest. Stir to combine
- Pour into the prepared tin
- Place the pitted cherries over the cake mix
- Drop the mix over the cake and do not pat down. This keeps the crumble lovely and light in texture
- Bake for between 50/60 minutes until a knife inserted into it comes out clean