1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 braeburn apples, skin on, quartered and cored
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 cup instant polenta
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme or rosemary
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, size 7
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup milk
¼ cup sliced jalapeño pickles, roughly chopped
Line a 26cm cast-iron sauté pan or cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
Apples: Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan. Add the onions, season and cook for 10 minutes. Cut each apple quarter in half and add to the pan with the garlic and cook for 10 minutes until just tender.
Add the honey, cumin and thyme and continue to cook until everything is lightly caramelised and golden, turning often. Set aside to cool.
Cornbread: Sift the flour, baking powder and soda together into a large bowl and stir in the salt, polenta, thyme, sugar, paprika, chilli powder and the cheese. Whisk the eggs, butter and the milk together, then add to the flour mixture along with the jalapeños. Using a large metal spoon, fold together until well combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the tin and top with half of the apple mixture. Add the remaining cornbread batter, then the apples. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the top is golden and the bread is firm to the touch. Don’t overcook or the bread will be dry.
Cool completely before removing from the tin. Serves 6–8.