This just-sweet-enough cake is dotted with bright Bing cherries, but that's not the only thing that's unexpected about it. It's also made with polenta, aka cornmeal, which has a subtle crunch, and olive oil, so it has an unbelievably moist texture and lightly fragrant flavor.
Servings: Serves 8
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup polenta or cornmeal
- 2 1/2 cups fresh Bing cherries, (about 1 pound), pitted and halved
- Crème fraîche, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10" round cake pan with nonstick vegetable spray, or lightly coat it with butter or oil.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine eggs and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to egg mixture, along with polenta. Mix until combined.
- Pour two thirds of batter into prepared pan, and completely cover it with cherries. Spoon remaining batter over cherries, allowing fruit to peek through in spots. Bake until top and edges are lightly golden and a toothpick (or fork) inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack. Cut cake, and serve each slice with a dollop of crème fraîche.