#122: San Marino – Bustrengo

February has been a bit of a tough month on the cooking front as my motivation was a bit lacking for the first half of the month. Maybe it was “fail” with the Botswana beef dish, or maybe I just didn’t want to think too much about dinner for a few weeks. Fortunately for you, dear reader (said in my Bridgerton voice), I’m back at it with this dessert hailing from the microstate and fifth smallest country: San Marino. Before I came upon this in my country list, I’d never heard of this microstate located in Southern Europe, enclaved by Italy. As one would expect, it is heavily influenced by its Italian surroundings and this dessert was no exception.

Bustrengo is a polenta torta that typically is served around the Christmas holidays. But I elected to make it for a friend of mine who loves all things Christmas, but would be joining me for Valentine’s Day dinner while Matt was on work travel. This is a pretty dense cake with a base of yellow cornmeal, or polenta, breadcrumbs and flour. The flavor comes from the citrus zest paired with diced apples, figs, and raisins. This cake isn’t overly sweet and its consistency resembles a bread pudding. Marketed as a dessert, I think this also works really well for breakfast.

Recipe I used: https://www.all-thats-jas.com/italian-apple-fig-polenta-torta/

Overall Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make it Again? No

Additional Notes: This is an impressive looking cake and was a great follow up to the dinner I made (Chicken Marbella with vegetables). I might have overcooked the cake ever so slightly so I’ll be curious if it dries out a bit over the next few days as I plan to make it part of my breakfast for the week.

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