I’m an early riser. Usually up between 5 am and 6 am. I don’t leave for work until around 9:30 so I have a lot of time to kill. Yesterday morning I decided to bake something. Pineapples were on sale this week for $2.97. Beautiful ripe golden pineapples. What better to bake than a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
There are lots of recipes to choose from, but one that I have seen on a regular basis recently is Thomas Keller’s version. I found a great picture of his cake on a number of blogs including Jun-Blog, Sea Salt With Food and Sweet Cakes.
Many Pineapple Upside Cake recipes call for baking in a cast iron pan. Thomas Keller’s recipe specifies a silcone cake pan. This apparently makes it easier for those that are uncomfortable with tipping a cake, dripping with hot caramel, out of a cast iron pan and on to a plate.
I followed the recipe almost to a “T” except for two things. I skipped the rum and added more vanilla to the “smear” and I baked my cake in a cast iron skillet.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
8 Tbsp (1 Stick; 4 oz) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 ½ Tbsp Honey
½ tsp Dark Rum
1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Vanilla Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Gold (Extra-Sweet) Pineapple
1 1/3 Cups Cake Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
8 Tbsp (1 Stick; 4 oz)
½ Cup Plus 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 Tbsp Plus 1 tsp Milk
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the butter, honey, rum, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth and well blended. Spread 1/3 cup of the schmear over the bottom of a 9-inch silicone cake pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt. (The remaining schmear can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 month; bring to room temperature before using.)
Cut the top and bottom from the pineapple and cut away the peel. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into quarters, and cut off the core from each section. Cut each piece crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. Beginning at the perimeter of the pan, make an overlapping ring of pineapple slices with the curved side facing out. Make a second ring inside the first one, overlapping the slices in the opposite direction, working toward the center of the pan.
Sift the flour and baking powder together; set aside.
Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the second and scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in the milk. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until combined.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread over the pineapple. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan for even browning and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 to 40 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the cake, invert onto a serving platter, and serve warm. (Leftover can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
NOTE: This cake would be even better with more sauce. Next time I make it I’ll double the “Smear”.