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  1. Grease an 8 1/2" x 4" loaf pan and line with parchment paper, clipping the paper to the sides of the pan.

  2. To make the polenta: Place all of the ingredients except the crystallized ginger in a 3-quart saucepan and whisk together until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and begins to thicken. Be careful; it may bubble and spurt. Put a lid loosely over the pan to contain any explosions, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta pulls away from the edge of the pot. It should be stiff enough for your spoon to stand straight up in it.

  3. Remove from the heat, stir in the crystallized ginger, and transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Drop the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove any air bubbles. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

  4. To make the stewed fruit: Put all of the ingredients into a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

  5. To make the mascarpone cream: Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth.

  6. To cook and assemble: Use the parchment paper to remove the cold polenta from the pan. Cut 3/4" slices, and fry them in 1 tablespoon of butter until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and top with 2 tablespoons of stewed fruit; drizzle the mascarpone cream over all before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to use fresh pumpkin purée rather than canned? It’s simple to make your own; see how it’s done.