Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta

Italian Apple & Fig Polenta Torta | All that's Jas

 

When you need a little something extraordinary in your everyday life, this Italian apple and fig polenta torta fits the bill. Simple ingredients combined together make this exquisite cake. Inside, you will find diced Honeycrisp apples, dried figs, raisins, golden polenta, honey, and olive oil.

An extraordinary cake for your ordinary day, this Italian apple and fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain.

Curls of orange and lemon zest will make you think you’ve taken a big bite out of summer. The recipe for this typical winter cake of San Marino origins, a microstate surrounded by Italy,  was traditionally prepared by locals in a fireplace in a copper pot and served especially on holidays or Sundays.

 

The ingredients they used varied, depending on the family tradition, and are known only in part because the secret ingredients are kept jealously by Romagna housewives.

 

Bustrengo is best served warm, covered with a cloud of powdered sugar until even the air around it tastes sweet. Take it easy on the portion sizes as the cake is quite dense and satisfying, with a texture similar to bread pudding.  It’s quite the opposite of the Swedish apple pie recipe I shared earlier, which is so light and can be easily eaten whole in one sitting.

 

A note:

We got one more apple recipe coming tomorrow to conclude our apple week but thanks to Rainier Fruit, our partner who provided us with apples, I will have plenty left. I forbad my husband from eating them until this event was over. I  might let him have a few or I will use them to make apple pie bread pudding recipe or quick and easy apples in a robe treat. We’ll see 😉

 

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Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta – Bustrengo Cake

An extraordinary #cake for your ordinary day, this #Italian apple & #fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain. #appleweek Click To Tweet

 

An extraordinary cake for your ordinary day, this Italian apple and fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain. Inside you will find Honeycrisp apples, dried figs, raisins, golden polenta, orange and lemon zest, honey, and olive oil.

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 8-12

  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (uncooked polenta)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. dried figs, woody stems removed and chopped (reserve a few for topping)
  • 4 oz. raisins (reserve a few for topping)
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and roughly diced
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon

 

~ Free Tip ~

For an intense citrus flavor, use the zest of two oranges and lemons. Omit raisins if you’re not a fan. You can use white cornmeal if you prefer.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grease a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Chop apples and figs and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Next, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (polenta, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon). Add the figs and raisins (except the reserved handful) to the polenta mixture and stir until coated with the flour.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, oil, and honey.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to form a smooth batter. The batter is quite prone to create lumps, so keep stirring with a whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Finally, stir in the chopped apples, orange and lemon zests. Combine well. Pour into prepared pan, and then top with fig slices, being careful not to push them into the batter. Sprinkle with reserved raisins.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until browned and set. Let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and loosen. Remove cake to a serving platter and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature sifting with more powdered sugar on top just before serving. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

 

Topping apple and polenta torta with figs, raisins, and orange and lemon zest

 

ESSENTIALS

for Italian Apple & Fig Polenta Torta

  • If you bake, you need different springform pan sizes. There is just no way around it.
  • Mixing bowls. I just ordered these as mine started to peel the color on the outside every time I wash them.
  • A whisk. I know, there are three. Always think ahead when shopping and buy sets when available. I ‘m not just saying this because I’m gadget-crazy (well…maybe a little). You’ll need them and it’s good to have them all matching.

 

Bakes apple and fig polenta torta - an Italian apple cake recipe

Apple polenta cake slice with figs, raisins, and citrus.

5 from 5 votes
An extraordinary cake for your ordinary day, this Italian apple and fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain. Inside you will find Honeycrisp apples, dried figs, raisins, golden polenta, orange and lemon zest, honey, and olive oil.
Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
An extraordinary cake for your ordinary day, this Italian apple and fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain.
Servings: 12
Author: Jas
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal uncooked polenta
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. dried figs woody stems removed and chopped (reserve a few for topping)
  • 4 oz. raisins reserve a few for topping
  • 2 large apples peeled, cored, and roughly diced
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Grease a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Chop apples and figs and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Next, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (polenta, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon). Add the figs and raisins (except the reserved handful) to the polenta mixture and stir until coated with the flour.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, oil, and honey. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to form a smooth batter. The batter is quite prone to create lumps, so keep stirring with a whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Finally, stir in the chopped apples, orange and lemon zests. Combine well. Pour into prepared pan, and then top with fig slices, being careful not to push them into the batter. Sprinkle with reserved raisins.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until browned and set. Let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and loosen. Remove cake to a serving platter and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature sifting with more powdered sugar on top just before serving. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
Recipe Notes

~ Free Tip ~ For an intense citrus flavor, use the zest of two oranges and lemons. Omit raisins if you're not a fan. You can use white cornmeal if you prefer.

More yummy apple recipes: 😀

  1. Appelflappen from Palatable Pastime
  2. Apple Butter Cream Cheese Spread from Tip Garden
  3. Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
  4. Apple Cranberry Galettes with Caramel Drizzle from Family Around the Table
  5. Apple Oat Quick Bread with Caramel Sauce from The Chef Next Door
  6. Apple Yeast Coffee Cake from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
  7. Easiest Ever Applesauce from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  8. Grilled Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin from Books n’ Cooks
  9. Grilled Veggie Tacos with Apple Pico de Gallo from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  10. Honeycrisp and Gouda Grilled Cheese from The Redhead Baker
  11. Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta from All That’s Jas
  12. Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops with Apple Butter from Sew You Think You Can Cook
  13. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apples from House of Nash Eats
  14. Roasted Pork with Apple Puree from Simple and Savory
  15. Savory Apple Bacon Pizza from Cooking With Carlee
  16. Slow Cooker Honey Apple Pork Roast From Amy’s Cooking Adventures

 

Pin it for later: Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta 

An extraordinary cake for your ordinary day, this Italian apple and fig torta is made with simple ingredients yet is anything but plain. Inside you will find Honeycrisp apples, dried figs, raisins, golden polenta, orange and lemon zest, honey, and olive oil.

See this recipe featured on Simply Sweet Home, The Cottage Market, Pieced Pastimes, Sugar Spice and Family Life, Scrapality, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, and Oh My Heartsy Girl.

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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44 Comment

  1. Reply
    Wendy Klik
    September 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I love figs. I love apples. I love cakes that don’t have frosting. I love everything about this recipe.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      September 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

      If I made one person happy with this recipe then I did my job and can go home. Bye, LOL 😉 Thanks, Wendy!!!

  2. Reply
    Carlee
    September 29, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I think I want to come live in your kitchen. That wouldn’t be too much, would it?!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      September 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Not at all! You could have breakfast in bed every morning, LOL

  3. Reply
    Christie Hawkes
    October 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Your posts are always so beautiful Jas. Thanks for sharing on #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 2, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Christie! Hope your week is wonderful!

  4. Reply
    Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    October 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    What an amazing dish. I love the idea of apples and figs together. Thanks for sharing on the Celebrate 365 All Things Apple Blog Party!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 8, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you, Val! I’m glad you like it 🙂

  5. Reply
    cakespy
    October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I love this recipe!! I adore the sweet mellowness that figs give cake, and paired with the polenta, this sounds really special and elegant. And the fruit makes it breakfast appropriate, I think.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Totally breakfast appropriate!! LOL. Thanks for stopping in! 😀

  6. Reply
    Jamie
    October 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Oh my. This looks amazing! It’s been a while since I had polenta and I’ve been craving anything apple lately. Can’t wait to try this.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      It’s hard not to crave apples during the apple season! So many apple dishes to choose from, fall should last at least 6 months, lol.

  7. Reply
    Kat (The Baking Explorer)
    October 16, 2017 at 5:40 am

    What a gorgeous torta! I love how you’ve arranged the fruit on top

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Thank you so much, Kat, for your kind comment 🙂

  8. Reply
    Lisa
    October 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

    This looks delish! My family is Italian and we eat a lot of polenta but usually, it’s savory. I definitely want to try this. Thanks for the recipe. Pinned.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Hi, Lisa! I love savory polenta too (I have a couple of recipes here), but this sweet version is delicious as well 🙂

  9. Reply
    Love from Munchkintime.com
    October 17, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Deliciousness, thank you for sharing this recipe, sharing it to Google+!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 17, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much, Love!

  10. Reply
    April J Harris
    October 17, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    This looks amazing, Jas! I love cakes like this. Pinning and sharing. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul link party.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      I’m so happy you like it, April! Hope your week is going great!

  11. Reply
    Alison's Allspice
    October 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I absolutely love figs! This torta looks outstanding!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you, Alison! Figs are my favorite too 🙂

  12. Reply
    Carrie Ditton
    October 18, 2017 at 9:30 am

    That looks absolutely divine! We just started the Whisk It Wednesday link party and I thought you might be interested in sharing there too! Thanks, Carrie

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks, Carrie! I will definitely come to your party!

  13. Reply
    Lisa
    October 18, 2017 at 11:36 am

    WOW! This sounds delicious. I always like to make Italian dishes during the holiday to keep the tradition of my Italian Family. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m pinning it for keeps!
    Lisa

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      That’s great, Lisa! I love traditions especially if they involve cakes, ha! Thanks for stopping in!

  14. Reply
    Jann Olson
    October 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    This sounds delicious! I would really like to try making it. Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 18, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      I hope you do, Jann 🙂

  15. Reply
    Miz Helen
    October 20, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Your Italian Apple Fig Polenta Torta is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 21, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Thanks, Miz Helen! Always a pleasure to share my recipes on your blog 🙂

  16. Reply
    Sandra L Garth
    October 20, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Lately, I’ve been on a fig and apple kick and I can’t get enough. Love this recipe and I’ve pinned it. Thanks for all the delicious recipes you share with us at Celebrate Your Story.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Thank you, Sandra, it means a lot!

  17. Reply
    Amber Harrop
    October 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    This looks amazing Jas and I love the figs on top – I will definitely be trying this

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you, Amber!

  18. Reply
    Beverly
    October 22, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Jas, your recipes always look delicious and I love the bits of history of the dish your provide along with the recipe. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 22, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Beverly! I really appreciate your kind words 🙂

  19. Reply
    Hil
    October 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    This look like a great afternoon snack!

    Thanks for sharing at bloggers spotlight! Pinned to a few group boards 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you, it really is 🙂

  20. Reply
    Sheri
    October 23, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Wow, I would love to try this recipe! Thanks for joining us at the TO GRANDMA’S HOUSE WE GO – LINK PARTY #58 this week! Your project has been pinned. Would love for you to join us again this Wednesday! Cheers!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you, Sheri! I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂

  21. Reply
    Florence
    October 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Jas, this is an interesting dessert, and quite attractive-looking seen from above. I can see what you mean…it is very dense. I love figs, so I know this would be right up my alley. And making it with cornmeal too, is a new twist to me. I would love to taste a piece of this! Pinned.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 23, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for the visit, Florence! This cake is unique but tasty. However, one slice will fill you up for the whole day, ha!

  22. Reply
    Theresa
    October 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Wow, that looks & sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this at the Inspiration Spotlight party Sharing

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 24, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Thank you, Theresa!

Your visits and your comments are greatly appreciated. I LOVE reading them, they motivate me to keep going and keep improving. If you have a question, please feel free to leave it here, email me, or message me on Facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by at All that's Jas, so let's talk :)