The first time I made Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, it was from an Alton Brown recipe and it was a disaster. It was my first and so far only AB disaster so I figured the problem was me. It probably was too, I burned the caramel but he called for a ridiculous amount of heat for a cast iron skillet! I went ahead and baked the thing but I had throw it away. Who wants to eat bitter burnt sugar? Not me!
Yesterday I decided to give it another go but I used a different recipe. I did not want to fail this time besides, I really wanted some cake. I didn't want anything complicated, I didn't want to cream butter, make caramel or anything of the sort so I ended up slightly modifying a recipe from TKAF All Purpose Baking Book. As usual, KAF didn't disappoint. The cake was a breeze to make and it was delicious. Really, really good. The adaption wasn't anything major, I just left some stuff out (the cherries and nuts) so they still deserve all the credit!
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
5 tbsp (2 1/2 oz) butter
1/2 cup (4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
1 can (16 oz) pineapple rings, drained and juice reserved
1 cup (4 1/4 oz) unbleached all purpose flour or cake flour (4 oz), sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) reserved pineapple juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (4 1/2 oz) sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet or heavy 10-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter and place the pineapple rings on top.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set the mixture aside. Combine the juice and vanilla and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they're thick and lemon-colored and the whisk leaves tracks as it travels through them. With the mixer still running, gradually sprinkle in the sugar. Add the juice, then slow down the mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients all at once and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Pour batter over the prepared fruit in the skillet. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, until its center springs back when touched lightly and it's just barely starting to pull away from the sides of the skillet, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and place a serving platter over the skillet. While keeping a firm grip on the both, flip the pan over and place platter and cake on a rack. Leave the pan on top for 5 minutes while the hot topping drips back down on the cake. After 5 minutes, remove the pan and arrange any fruit that's shifted.
This was really, really good cake and my favorite part was the edge where it was touching the sides of the skillet. The contrast between the moist and tender interior and the slightly crunchy exterior was amazing. I have personally eaten most of the cake but my husband, the picky eater, ate lots of it too and didn't find anything wrong with it (or at least he hasn't told me anything!). My family liked it too. Mission accomplished!
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