I was trying to decide what to blog about next and realized that I have no deserts in my recipe index! So I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by writing about a desert that is also one of the slide show photographs.
I made this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for my 2009 Thanksgiving Day feast. I had been seeing recipes for various renditions of this cake since back in the day and always thought to myself that I would like to make it. But never did, until now. I didn’t want to make any of the tired old recipes like pumpkin, apple or pecan pie for my feast. I wanted something new and different that my family had never had at my house before.
This particular recipe caught my eye because of the ground almonds in the cake batter, which would give it a great flavor and texture. Also, cooking the cake in a cast iron skillet was a new approach for me and I knew the pineapple would caramelize beautifully. Give me a new ingredient or technique and I’m all over it.
I did bow to the traditional with the whipped cream dolloped on the cake, which was delicious with coffee at the end of the feast. And it was just as good the next day warmed up in the microwave.
Actually, the next day I was wondering what I was going to do with the cake that was left over, besides eat it all and gain ten pounds, when lo and behold, my neighbor, Gourmet Larry, came knocking on the door to borrow something. I asked him if he liked Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. His eyes lit up and he told me he had pinned a photo of a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake over his wife’s computer in the hopes that she would make him some, as it is his favorite. It had been hanging there for quite some time and nothing had magically happened yet. So I gave him a big chunk of the cake and the rest of the whipped cream. He hurried home to have some…a very happy man.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
13 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 medium pineapple, cut in 1/3-inch slices, core removed,
or 2 8-ounce cans sliced pineapple, drained
Brandied cherries, plumped dried apricots or toasted pecans, optional
½ cup sour cream, divided
2 egg yolks
½ cup almonds
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy, 10-inch cast iron skillet. Swirl pan so butter comes up sides. Stir in brown sugar and remove skillet from heat. When cool, arrange pineapple and optional décor in pattern that completely covers bottom of pan.
3. Place 2 tablespoons sour cream in small mixing bowl. Beat in eggs and yolks.
4. In food processor, combine almonds and sugar, and grind until almonds are very fine. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and process just long enough to blend.
5. Cut remaining 10 tablespoons butter into 5 or 6 pieces and process in. Add remaining ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream and process until batter is smooth.
6. Whip in the egg mixture in 3 batches, giving each about 20 seconds processing time. Turn batter onto prepared pineapple bed and smooth top, spreading toward sides.
7. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean and cake is beginning to shrink from sides of pan.
8. Cool about 5 minutes. If the top side is domed, using a serrated knife, cut off the dome and make it level with the edge of the skillet.
9. Cover top of cake with a large, heat-proof cake plate. Holding the two tightly together, turn the cake over onto the cake plate. Replace any fruit or nuts that have stuck to the skillet. Serve with whipped cream if desired.