Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake



This is an old-fashioned cake that I remember my mother making. I am not sure if her recipe was the same as this one (this recipe is from Maida Heatter's Cakes, Cader Books, 1997) but it tastes just like I remember it. This cake is made in a cast-iron skillet (or you can use any frying pan or 12-inch pie plate). It is fairly easy to make and fun to put together. The hardest part is turning the heavy skillet upside down but the cake comes out easily. I would recommend placing a plate or cardboard cake circle directly over the skillet and hold it carefully when flipping it over. A helping hand is good to have available!

 Pecans are optional for this cake and you can arrange the pineapple slices and cherries (and pecans) any way you prefer. My mother never used pecans on hers and I decided to skip them as well.

The cake is very light and the pineapple flavor is intense. It is the perfect combination!

Topping

5 1/3 TBS. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 20-ounce can sliced pineapple (packed in natural juices)
Optional: Pecan halves, cherries (either maraschino, candied or Bing)

Preheat the oven to 350.
A frying pan or 12-inch pie plate is recommended. Spray the pan with a nonstick spray.

Pour the melted butter over the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.
Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice, and dry the rings on a paper towel.
Place the pineapple rings around the pan in any pattern you prefer (there may be some left over). Place the cherries (and pecans) in the holes of the pineapple and in the spaces around them.
Set aside and prepare the cake.



Cake

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 TBS. drained pineapple juice
1/2 cup apricot preserves (for the glaze)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat the eggs at high speed for one minute.
Continue to beat while slowly adding the sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale.
Add the vanilla.
Add the pineapple juice. Beat on low speed until mixed.
On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients, beating only until smooth.
Pour the batter over the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the pan immediately.

Apricot Glaze

While the cake is baking, prepare an apricot glaze by heating 1/2 cup of apricot preserves. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush the glaze over the top of the cake.