Monday, February 6, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: 15 minutes prep, 30 minutes baking time
Serves: 8

It defies logic.

Really, how does that even work: dumping stuff like butter and sugar and nuts into the bottom of a skillet, putting the batter on top of that, then, after baking, flipping it all back out? Seems too casual in the precision-loving world of baking.

But this little retro recipe, which looks and feels a whole lot like Donna Reed, is delicious. You can use fresh pineapple if you have it and orange juice in the batter if you run short on pineapple juice.

Pineapple Upside Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 large can sliced or chunk pineapple, in juice rather than heavy syrup
1/2 cup pecan halves, whole or broken
1/3 cup maraschino cherries, whole or halved
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in large, heavy skillet. (Mine's an 8" black)

Spread brown sugar evenly in pan and arrange drained pineapple slices or chunks over sugar, filling in spaces with pecans and cherries.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; beat egg yolks until light, adding sugar gradually; add pineapple juice and sifted flour.

Fold in stiffly beaten whites and turn batter over pineapple in pan.

Bake in 375 F oven 30 to 35 minutes (I cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes if it's browning too quickly).

Turn upside down on a plate or tray and serve.

Suggested soundtrack: "Mona Lisa" Nat King Cole....very fifties, even if it's not very Donna Reed-y

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