Apple Polenta Flan

This flan is a little something that I had forgotten about until not long ago. I remember my mum making it when we were little, however it was a lost memory until a couple of months ago, when all of a sudden she brought it back into my life.

As soon as I tasted a mouthful, I had instant taste recognition and memory of this delicious treat – it’s like we never parted!

polentaflan1This recipe actually comes to you from the Australian Women’s Weekly Vegetarian Cookbook – classic meals coming to you from 1990. When mum made it most recently, she omitted some of the non vegan ingredients.

I enjoyed it so much, I made it again the following week, but tweaked the recipe, making some substitutions and minor changes.

5This flan is like nothing else I’ve ever eaten and I love it to death. It’s the perfect thing to eat in the afternoon over a cuppa.

You’re welcome.

Apple Polenta Flan

1 litre non-dairy milk
3/4 cup coconut sugar
45g nuttelex
1 Tbsp
lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup polenta
3/4 cup sultanas
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 large granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 tsp coconut sugar, extra
1 tsp ground cinnamon, extra

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a 20cm springform tin.

Heat the milk, sugar, nuttelex, lemon zest and spices in a medium saucepan. Stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and stir in polenta. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, stir in sultanas, walnuts and coconut cream. Pour into prepared tin.

Combine extra sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Arrange apple slices on the top of the flan, then pour maple syrup over the top. Sprinkle with sugar mix.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until apple is tender and the flan has come slightly away from the side of the tin.

Cool to room temperature. Remove from tin, serve with a drizzle of coconut cream if desired.



  1. I love that cookbook – have many recipes I love from there. That flan looks spectacular. What is the texture of the base – I have found polenta cakes to be quite sandy but wonder if it is quite gloopy given that you cook the polenta – am intrigued and am bookmarking it!

    1. Ooh – which are you favourites? I am interested to try a few more, though sometimes the daggy pictures put me off haha. The texture is not sandy at all – I think because it is cooked in both the pot and the oven, I find it quite smooth, dense and really moist. While it sort of looks quite cakey, it is almost ‘wet’ – I guess that’s why it is a flan, not a cake.

  2. I remember borrowing that cookbook from the library when I was first vegetarian in the early 90s and couldn’t afford to buy any more cookbooks. I don’t remember ever trying that one though. It looks very fancy – and I love that you’ve pre-veganised it for us. Gorgeous little serving dish too, might I add.

    1. It’s so funny to look back at all these cookbooks now, isn’t it?! They were so modern back then. Do you have any favourites from that book that you remember? I’ll have to have another flick through it next time I’m at my parents’ place, the flan is the only recipe I’ve made from it. The dishes are lovely aren’t they? Not sure which you’re referring to, but the little floral plate was my great nanna’s, and I remember it from when I was a child and I would go and visit her with my mum – she’d serve tea and gingernut biscuits.

  3. I made this georgous winning apple polenta flan & loved every bite, so did my guests! xxx
    It was fun to make & so easy to devour too! It looked very pretty on the plate,…dear Caeli! x

  4. Caeli, this looks fantastic! I have never tried a cornmeal based dessert before but it sounds wonderful. I’ll have to file this away for when we get apple season here πŸ™‚

  5. I have the urge to put on a pot of coffee and eat a slice (or three) of this for breakfast! Gorgeous texture. There’s a huge place in my heart for apple desserts -they’re some of my faves!!! Gorgeous recipe.

    1. I’m with you Allison – it’s never ‘a’ slice, I always have to have a little bit more – just to even up the edges of course! I love apple desserts too, for some reason they remind me of my childhood, including this one. Must be all the apple crumbles and scrolls and danishes and baked apples my mum used to make!

      1. Yes, I made it and was amaaaaazing! My hubby & I took it with us yesterday when we visited our college kids. All three loved it! My daughter suggested I make it for thanksgiving this year. Makes a great fall dessert, right? I’ll have to write a post on it too & share the link to your recipe. Thanks Little Vegan Bear! You’re awesome! Are you on IG by any chance? If so, I’d love to follow you there as well πŸ˜‰

        1. Oh yay Abby! I’m so glad it went down well! I agree – it’s a great fall dessert. It has such an interesting texture, and I love the plump sultanas in it. So good! I’m actually not really on instagram, well I have one that I haven’t used in a while since my phone broke – I will have to get a new phone and get it going again. There is already somebody on there with the littleveganbear username, though it’s not me. Mine is caelijbee – it’s mostly pics from my travels. I will definitely let you know if I start linking it to my blog though! Are you on IG? I look forward to your post πŸ™‚

          1. I was searching for littleveganbear on IG when I saw the account you are taking about. Wasn’t sure it was yours, that’s why I thought to ask. Didn’t want to follow the wrong person :/ I did want to post a pic of the apple polenta and tag you in it too. No problem though. I’ll be sharing it soon with a link to your blog. Thanks again Caeli! πŸ˜€

            1. That will be nice! My IG acct is abbyskitchen. Btw I posted a pic of the apple polenta. Made it again this time for my mother in law’s bday. I adapted it slightly. She loved it. Post with a link to your recipe to follow. Thanks again!

  6. This looks delicious, and so pretty! Just one quick question – what is nuttelex? I’m guessing its a vegan margarine/spread? So Vitalite (vegan margarine in UK) would work too? Thanks for sharing will give it a whirl :o)

    1. Thanks Jasmine! You’re absolutely right – it’s a vegan margarine we have here in Australia. I imagine you could even sub something like coconut oil without much of an issue. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try x

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