Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is a recipe for my mother’s pineapple upside-down cake. The original version was from a recipe book, but it doesn’t even matter which one, because she changed the recipe by adding an egg and completely changing the steps. I mean, as written, the directions have you mix the milk and egg into melted butter, and then mix that into a flour-sugar mixture; my mother makes it the more traditional way of creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, then alternating the dry ingredients and milk to mix everything together. To be fair, I actually tried it once as written, because sometimes a really great cake comes from an unconventional method (see the definitive yellow layer cake), but this time it was a disaster. So as if often the case, mom was right all along. When I tried the cake her way, it was perfect. So here it is, pineapple upside-down cake.

12 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, at room temperature, divided
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup pineapple juice (just use what is in the can of pineapple rings)
5-6 whole pineapple rings (see note below)
1 ½ cups (215 g.) all-purpose white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup lactose-free milk

Preheat oven to 400 °F.

Put 4 Tbsp. butter in an 8” round pan and pop it into the oven for a minute or so, just until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the oven and mix in the brown sugar until dissolved, then add the pineapple juice. Arrange the pineapple rings in one layer in the pan; set aside. (All 5 rings fit on the perimeter of the pan, but if I had really tried, I might have been able to squeeze in a 6th ring in the center. Note that you could also do it the retro way and put maraschino cherries in the center of each ring.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining 8 Tbsp. butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until evenly combined. Carefully spoon the batter over the pineapples in the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate, fruit side up, and let cool completely.

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