Cutting a pineapple is easy once you know how. You start by cutting off the top and the bottom so you have a nice stable cutting surface.
|Even bottom surface makes for easier cutting|
Starting from the top, cut down the sides, removing the rough outer skin - making sure to get all the "eyes" and any visible black seeds.
|Cut straight down the sides, turning as you go, with a very sharp chef's knife|
|Easy to get a nice big peeled pineapple!|
Since I don't have a pineapple corer, I generally cut the sides off, leaving the core intact...if it is a juicy pineapple I suck the juice off the core - the cook's treat, and discard it.
|Cut straight down the outer edge of the core - I end up with 4 pieces|
For the cake, I'll make about 1/2 inch slices from the largest piece to put in the bottom of the pan and fill in with smaller pieces. Obviously, they will end up on top.
|Half-moon slices for the bottom of the cake pan|
So, here's the recipe I decided to use. It's a basic yellow cake mix with a buttery brown sugar mixture to go in the bottom of the pan with the pineapple slices. When you turn it out, it's a luscious sweet glaze. I haven't eat one in several years so I'm ready to get started!
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Adapted from JoyofBaking.com and MarthaStewart.com Recipes
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
Slices of fresh pineapple or rings of canned pineapple
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place rack in middle position.
Prepare 9 inch round cake pan by spraying with non-stick baking spray. I use Baker's Joy. (or you can lightly butter and flour cake pan instead) This time I used an 8-inch cake pan and regretted it. It came up over the edge when it rose and I had to cut a little lip off the cake's top (which became the bottom). No biggie..it didn't overflow, but it needed another inch.
Place the butter and brown sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir until butter and sugar are melted together.
Stop stirring and allow to cook just until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan - you can swirl, but don't stir. Remove from heat when you see bubbles forming around edge.
Pour topping into pan and shake until evenly distributed.
Pat pineapple dry and place evenly on top of the butter/sugar mixture.
|Topping for the cake, the butter and brown sugar sauce topped with pineapple|
YELLOW BUTTER CAKE:
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter - softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs - room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk - room temperature
In a separate bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
|Whisked dry ingredients|
In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (takes about 3 or 4 minutes).
Add eggs 1 at a time until each is incorporated.
Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
With stand mixer on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and allow to incorporate.
Add 1/2 of the milk and mix to incorporate.
Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients - mix to incorporate
Add the remaining milk and mix to incorporate.
Add the last of the flour and mix to incorporate.
|Batter is ready to be spooned on top of pineapple slices in cake pan|
Spoon batter over pineapple and smooth with an offset spatula.
Bake 45-55 minutes (when tester comes out clean - be sure not to stick it into the pineapple stuff at the bottom).
Allow cake to cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the outside edges to ensure a good release. Turn cake onto serving platter. If any pineapple pieces get stuck, carefully release them with a spoon and place them back into their "spots". Be careful of the hot topping.
I like it best served warm with a big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream...or a dollop of sweet whipped cream. All by itself is just dandy as well! It is just as good the next day.
This is a great old-fashioned cake and I can pretty much guarantee it will be breakfast with a cup of hot coffee!
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!