Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
This is a bit before my time, but I have vague nursery memories of a friend of my grandmother’s making a version of this, which she would serve with a warm sauce made of pineapple juice thickened with—I imagine—cornstarch. That I can do without, but I am still of the mind that it is perfectly all right to make this with canned pineapple rings. I feel it is slightly bad sport to start peeling and slicing your own pineapple. Anyway, the canned pineapple is just fine, though I advise going for the one in its own juice rather than in syrup, and I add some of the juice to the cake batter, too. This seems to help make it light and fluffy. I have found that the best way of keeping this swift is to bake it in my copper tarte tatin tin; if you are using a regular cake pan, be prepared to add a few minutes onto the cooking time.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Mealdinner, lunch, tea
Taste and Texturebuttery, fruity, sweet
Type of Dishcake, dessert
- Butter for greasing the pan
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 slices canned pineapple rings
- 1/3 cup candied cherries
- 2/3 cup flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) soft butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons pineapple juice from the can of pineapple slices
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a tarte tatin tin that is 9 inches wide at the top and 8 inches in diameter at the bottom. Or butter a cast-iron skillet or an 8- or 9-inch non-springform cake pan.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices to make a circular pattern as in the picture.
Fill each pineapple ring with a candied cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between the rings.
Put the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of juice to thin it a little.
Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.
Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the pan, place a plate on top, and with one deft — ha! — move, turn it upside down.
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2007 Nigella Lawson