Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nostalgic Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Oh the memories!  This cake brings back my childhood growing up in  Missouri.  This is such a classic, retro dessert and one of my favorites.  My mother and her friends would take turns hosting Coffee/Tea Parties, back in the 60's and 70's.  They went all out.  The best china, silverware, tablecloths, etc. were brought out for the ladies.  The sweeties were displayed with such pride.  The one sweetie that was always at the table was Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  All those ladies made everything from scratch and were very proud of their creations.  

I remember when my mother was hosting, I would be hiding up on the top of the staircase just watching the ladies dressed in their best attire, beehive updos, the scent of Shalimar, Tabu, Emeraude and Jean Nate' filling the air.  They would be just chatting away for hours.  I knew my mother would always put away a piece of Pineapple Upside Down Cake just for me. 

I really grew up around such amazing bakers and cooks. I think my love of baking and cooking comes from being surrounded by such wonderful delights and good times. Thanks Mom and to all your wonderful friends who have given me so much to remember.

Pineapple  Upside Down Cake adapted from Southern Cakes

Pineapple Topping:
One 20-ounce can pineapple rings (save the juice)
4 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
10 maraschino cherries

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice

* Note I added to 1 T. of vegetable oil to my batter for a very moist cake.  Add to liquid ingredients.

Heat the oven to 350F.

Drain the pineapple well but save 2 tablespoons of the juice for the cake batter. Melt the butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Or, put the butter in a 9 inch round cake pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes as the heat melts the butter.

Remove the pan from the oven or stove and sprinkle the brown sugar over the buttery surface. Place the pineapple rings carefully on top of the scattered brown sugar and melted butter, arranging them so they fit in 1 layer. (You may have a few left over). Place a cherry in the center of each ring, and set the pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to mix them together well. Add the milk and butter and beat well with a mixer, scraping down the bowl once or twice until you have a thick, fairly smooth batter, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the egg, reserved pineapple juice and the vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes more, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides.

Carefully pour the batter over the pineapple arranged in the skillet or cake pan and use a spoon to spread it evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in the skillet or pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack.

With oven mitts, carefully turn out the warm cake onto a serving plate by placing the plate upside down over the cake in the pan and then flipping them over together to release the cake onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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