Grill Week Part Deux: Grilled Italian Cornmeal Cake and Fruit

Grill Week Part Deux: Grilled Italian Cornmeal Cake and Fruit

My husband would love nothing more than for me to come home and say, “Hey honey, we have to grill the side of a cow for the blog tonight! Wanna eat steak for days?!” To say he is a carnivore is to say the least. However, for our second edition of grill week this summer, I decided to toss a dessert on the barbie. After looking at recipe after recipe after recipe for grilled pound cake and fruit, I decided to scratch the pound cake idea. It’s a difficult task to make the buttery confection a healthy alternative. Although, I promise to report back to this blog one day with a healthy solution. I came close with white spelt flour, but it’s the butter issue. Clearly. They don’t call it “pound” (of butter) cake for nothing.

Instead you’re staring down a gluten-free slice of cornmeal yumminess. Similar to the coffee cakes my grandmother used to make, this recipe from Whole Foods uses ground almonds or almond meal as well as cornmeal. I can’t believe I did this, but I made this baby on one of the hottest days of the year at our cottage. Scarlett and I were laying on the hammock and I said, “Let’s go inside and make the cake.” She replied, “Are you for real, mommy?” So I was on my own.

Gluten-Free Italian Cornmeal Cake

1/2 cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup organic sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used full fat)
1 cup ground almonds or almond meal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder

Fruit Skewers

2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 peaches or nectarines, sliced
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of organic sugar


Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil or butter a 9-inch spring-form baking pan. In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy. Add sugar and beat. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix in ricotta, almond meal, vanilla, orange juice and zest.

In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal and baking powder. Fold cormeal mix into wet ingredients until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For Fruit Skewers:

Wash and cut fruit. Alternating between strawberries and peaches or nectarines, place them on skewers. Melt butter. Place fruit on grill. Lightly brush with melted butter and turn. Repeat and remove from grill.

At the same time, place slices of cake onto grill as well. Grill on each sie for 1 to 2 minutes, just long enough to warm.

Plate fruit with a slice of cornmeal cake and serve with additional berries and Greek yogurt or whip cream.

After I got the cake in the oven, we killed the baking time by doing a little fishing.

After our long day of fishing, kayaking and painting rocks, we had our cake and fruit for dessert. I served it with some homemade Greek yogurt I get from the beautiful Thoula who runs a restaurant/convenience store in our tiny cottage town. It’s beyond delicous and better than any Greek yogurt I’ve ever tasted. (I’ve never been to Greece, but I’m pretty sure this stuff is as good.) The cool of the yogurt, sweetness of the skewers with the buttery, course cake was a tiny slice of heaven, especially if you consider it was on the heals of a gorgeous day spent together in the sun.

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