Serves 8 / Fresh out of the oven, this steaming treat will spread warm scents throughout your home. Topped with a dollop of ice cream, warm custard or crème fraîche, it's decadent and heavenly.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Filling:

6 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Crust:

1 cup polenta
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine apples, cherries, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and dot with the butter.

2. In a bowl, combine polenta, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and pecans. In another bowl, combine orange zest, egg, vegetable oil and buttermilk. Combine the wet and dry mixtures. Mix well.

3. Dollop the mixture on top of the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until topping is brown and apples are soft.