Tuesdays With Dorie – Fluted Polenta & Ricotta Cake

by Jessica on April 29, 2008

My 50th post… and it just so happens to be my second TWD entry!! 🙂 This was quite a mess to make, but I’m definitely glad I tried something new.  Can’t wait for next week!!

Thanks to Caitlin of Engineer Baker for choosing this week’s recipe… and, as always, check out all of the other members here!!

Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
Source: Baking – From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed (I used 3-4 poached Bosc pears)

1 c medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 c ricotta

1/3 c tepid water

3/4 c sugar (I used 1/2 c)

3/4 c honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat)

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 large eggs


Getting Ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter a 10-1/2″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Check that the figs are, indeed, moist and plump.  If they are the least bit hard, toss them into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry.  If the figs are large (bigger than a bite), snip them in half.


Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth.  With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light.  Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated.  You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.


Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the figs.  Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter (I omitted this part).


Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the panm, and the butter will have left light-colored circles in the top.  Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes.  Cool to warm, or cool completely.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather April 29, 2008 at 7:23 am

congrats on your 50th post! You cake looks so pretty and yummy!


2 Jayne April 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

Oh, I like the pears in your cake! Very pretty!!


3 Rebecca April 29, 2008 at 9:52 am

Congrats on the Big 5-0. 🙂


4 Amy April 29, 2008 at 10:31 am

How clever of you to use pears. 😉
I love it!


5 Kelsey April 29, 2008 at 11:08 am

Congratulations on your 50th post! And what a beautiful one it is! I love the idea of using pears, since I can hardly ever find figs around here.


6 NinaBeth April 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Congrats on hitting 50! Your pears look so pretty on the cake.


7 Cheryl April 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Ooh, pears! I bet they were delicious in there! I also subbed fresh fruit (red plums) for the figs, and was pleased with the results.


8 CB April 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Happy 50th! Mmmm… I bet pears tasted yummy. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought


9 emily227 April 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Interesting choice with the poached pears! And congratulations on your 50th post!


10 Gretchen Noelle April 29, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I love the pears on top! Beautiful design! Great job with this! And congrats on 50 posts as well!


11 LyB April 30, 2008 at 8:02 am

Beautiful, it sounds delicious with pears! I loved being surprised by this recipe too, it was fun to try something new!


12 Mari April 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

The pears add a classy look to the cake, lovely!


13 beth May 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Pears, what a great idea! Fabulous cake 🙂


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