It was surprising when quite a few friends and family let me know they liked Pineapple Upside Down cake. It was as if I was King George and I found out I had a receding heir line. (I know. Lousy pun.)
Making a pineapple upside down cake was a challenge. I had not even CUT a pineapple before. Pineapple cores s’mores. A pineapple was also WWII slang for an American grenade. The kind that blows up.
I got the general recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, my Buddhist kitchen bible of sorts. Indeed, I did a sutra chanting before making the first cut into a pineapple.
But the ingredients were simple and commonplace – aside from the pineapple:
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Maraschino cherries (because a kind and deserving gal wished for it)
- Unbleached flour
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Two and a half eggs, and
Taking the first slice into pineapple was like a mother going into labor for the first time. Not the pain – the apprehension. Should the cut be made to follow the pineapple shape? Or straight down?
How much of the center do I cut out? I imagined a Dole pineapple slice…
Heck, I cut two pineapples up to get the recommended four cups then threw them onto a skillet with the brown sugar. So far, so good?
The conglomeration was then strained and the sweet smelling liquid was returned to the pan off the heat. The butter and vanilla extract was whisked in.
Returning to the heat, the concoction was then simmered until the bubbles became “larger”. Talk about ambiguity. 🙂 (Now you ladies know how us logically thinking men feel when you say, “Can’t you see it? It’s the blue car with the thing-a-ma-jig on it.”)
Every last drop was poured into a 9″ cake pan.
I made the cake batter as per the recipe. Importantly, it recommended two eggs plus the whites only from the third egg. It’s purpose was to help the cake support the weight of the pineapple and molasses-like syrup.
The simmered pineapples were laid into the cake pan and syrup then dotted with the cherries. The batter – which was quite thick – was carefully dropped on the pineapples and smoothed over. I did my best to ensure the batter reached the sides but fell a tad short in some areas. Darn it.
After 45 minutes in a oven preheated to 350F, it was done! During cooling, I took a thin paring knife and carefully separated the cake from the sides.
After ten minutes on a cooling rack, it was time for the showdown: me against gravity. Had to flip the darn thing over without messing it up…which I did before. 🙂
The chanting did me well, I guess. The flipping went flawlessly.
So who likes pineapple upside down cake?
We’ll find out today if the cores-smore’s are the Snowden of baking. I hope I cut enough of the core out.