Lemon polenta cake with tarragon and lemon cherries

For a scrumptious treat try Simon Rimmer's citrus-flavoured cake, served with fragrant herbed cherries
By Simon Rimmer
Lemon  polenta cake with tarragon and lemon cherries
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling and chilling
  • Effort: medium



  • 450 g butter
  • 450 g sugar
  • 450 g ground almonds
  • dashes of vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 225 g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 45 ml thick double cream, to serve

For the tarragon and lemon cherries:

  • 150 ml water
  • 125 g sugar
  • 4 sprigs tarragon
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemons
  • 50 ml kirsch
  • 450 g large cherries, stones removed
  • 125 g blueberries


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until well-combined.

3. Mix in the ground almonds and vanilla extract.

4. Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, mixing well with each addition.

5. Fold in the lemon zest and juice, polenta, baking powder and salt.

6. Turn the mixture into a greased and lined 30cm cake tin.

7. Bake for 45 minutes until set. Remove and cool.

8. While the cake is cooking prepare the tarragon and lemon cherries.

9. Combine the water, tarragon and sugar in a heavy-based, small saucepan. Stirring bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

10. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice and the kirsch.

11. Add the cherries and blueberries to the mixture. Cool, then chill until serving.

12. Serve the cake in slices with the cherry mixture and double cream.

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