April 15, 2009

topsy-turvy dessert

In the last month or so, this has become one of my favorite new recipes. It's so simple and summery and flat-out delicious that once you make one, you’ll follow suit and make another as soon as the last crumb has left the plate. Even without the halved maraschino cherries on top (which I thought was traditional), this pineapple upside-down cake is reason to celebrate.

This all started one day when I’d emailed Ryan to tell him I had a surprise for him at home. He got home while I was outside, and saw my cookbook opened to the desserts section...and his eyes did a bee-line for the pineapple upside-down cake recipe. But alas, I was working on an olive oil cake instead (baking FAIL). Since he suffered this minor let-down in the kitchen, I decided to make it up to my man and bust out a PUD within the week.

Not to mention, I had some down time (thank you, springtime cold and vacation days), and pineapples were on sale at the market. Thus, my first foray into successful homemade cakes was born.

With a quarter-cup of melted butter and a half-cup of brown sugar sure to caramelize the fresh pineapple, you can't go wrong. So many folks make this with the canned stuff, but making it with fresh pineapple seals the deal and makes this cake meet my sustainable requirements.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
5-6 fresh pineapple slices, 1/2 inch thick
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (my addition)
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour half of the melted butter into 9" cake pan or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle on brown sugar and arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer (I put one round in the center, then arrange semi-circles around it in a pattern--more fits that way!). Set aside.

Whisk remaining butter, buttermilk, eggs, and granulated sugar together until foamy. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Gradually add the egg mixture and stir until incorporated.

Pour the batter carefully into the pan and distribute evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes before carefully flipping it onto the serving plate.

I managed to successfully flip the cake onto a cake stand in the first try. Oh yeah, I was impressed. You should be, too, given my clumsy tendencies.


Devon said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've been meaning to get the recipe from you...it was so delicious! Hopefully I can get the same results! :)