Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients for Topping:
  • 1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Ingredients for Batter:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour (can substitute whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum or rum cream
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (or rum cream) for sprinkling over cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut pineapple into 1/2-inch pieces.  In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add brown sugar and simmer, stirring into a smooth and fragrant caramel, for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Arrange pineapple on top of caramel in concentric circles, snugging pieces together.  Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add sugar and incorporate.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well.  Beat in vanilla and rum.  Add half of flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated.  Beat in pineapple juice, and then remaining flour mixture, beating until incorporated.  Batter may appear curdled; don’t panic.
(Note: My pineapple didn’t yield as much juice as I anticipated, so I pulverized some fresh pineapple with the immersion blender and substituted about 1/4 cup pulp alongside about 1/4 cup juice.)
Gently pour batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly.  Bake cake until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Let stand in skillet five minutes.  Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together).  Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of skillet.  Sprinkle rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack.  Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.

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