My girls have gone to bed, spent from hours spent in a friends pool, stuffed from the delicious food they ate there. As I sit here and soak in the quiet I can not help but think about how each one of these days goes towards knitting the fabric of their lives. Nothing has quite the charm of memories and there is something ever more alluring about the present when you are cognisant of it creating memories for the future. One of my childhood memories is of my mother baking cakes in her orange cake pan, orange on the outside grey on the inside. That pan is still going strong as is the memory of my mother flipping over her Pineapple Upside Down Cake with bated breath. That moment of hesitation, the exhale of relief, that I remember.
Ask me how the cake was and I honestly don’t. I remember the incandescent syrupy cherries, the opening of the can of pineapples, but the taste eludes me. I wouldn’t be surprised if I never ate it. In my world there was chocolate and vanilla and apples and possibly mangoes were the only acceptable fruit. Pineapple Upside Down Cake no matter how moist would not have made the cut.
Honestly, I am a little relieved. The exacting standard of memory can be a little tough to live up to! With this recipe which took a little tweaking I have achieved the three things I wanted to. One, I wanted to take advantage of the fresh pineapple that is available. Two, I wanted it to be very moist. Three, I wanted it to be sweet, but not cloyingly so. This Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a keeper. I love that it is a “retro” dessert that my little girl adores. What amuses me slightly more is that my big one refuses to eat much of it. One day, kiddo, one day.
This cake flips over remarkably well, but mind you the pineapple adds to the juiciness of the topping so if you skimp on the pineapple or don’t place a piece in the centre you may get some rough spots. Those have a charm of their own, but I think all things delicious are charming. Maraschino cherries are not my thing, but should you like them then feel free to add some on!
- 200 g pineapple slices, about 2-2.5 cups cubed or half a cored pineapple
- 4 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter (half a cup) at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or a few drops lemon or orange extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Spread the melted butter on the bottom of the pan and use a brush or clean fingers to grease the sides as well
- Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter
- Arrange pineapple chunks or slices. I cut my slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cream room temp butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one, beat for about a minute after each addition.
- Pour in the extract you are using and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Alternately mix in your dry ingredients and milk in 2-3 batches just until the ingredients are used up and a cohesive batter is formed.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes depending or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes before inverting on to your serving plate.
- Absolutely divine warm.