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Polenta Cake with Roasted Nectarines

Yield 8 servings (serving size: 1 cake wedge and 2 nectarine halves)
For this simple dessert, use nectarines from Chile, which are currently in season. Pears also work great.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup stick margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 medium firm nectarines, halved (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 303
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 9.8 g
  • satfat 2 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 2.9 g
  • protein 5.5 g
  • carbohydrate 49.8 g
  • fiber 3.4 g
  • cholesterol 55 mg
  • iron 2.3 mg
  • sodium 224 mg
  • calcium 67 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Beat margarine and 1/3 cup brown sugar at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk and lemon rind; beat well. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt); add to creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in chopped apple.

  3. Spoon batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

  4. Preheat oven to 475°.

  5. Combine remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, water, and cinnamon in a 2-cup glass measure; stir well. Microwave at high 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Combine nectarines and brown sugar mixture; toss well. Arrange nectarines, cut sides down, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until tender. Turn nectarines over; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve with cake. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

  6. Pear Variation: Substitute 6 small, firm Bosc pears, cored and quartered

  7. (2 1/4 pounds), for nectarines, if desired.