Fresh pineapples have been featured in local supermarkets recently. They stand out in the produce department - you can’t miss them - but the thought of wrestling that spiky crown and tough skin gives you pause. Go ahead and pick up the pineapple and then make this upside down cake. It looks impressive, tastes great and is not difficult to execute.
Pineapple is high in fiber and contains a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Fresh pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C; contains a small amount of Vitamin A; and is rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like copper, manganese and potassium. There are plenty of good nutritional reasons to eat pineapple, but the best reasons to make pineapple upside down cake are its nostalgic appeal and dramatic presentation.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1 ½ sticks (3/4 Cup) butter, softened
½ Cup brown sugar
½ Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch pieces
2/3 Cup sugar
1 2/3 Cups flour
1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
½ Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2/3 Cup buttermilk
To prepare pineapple: slice off the top and then slice about ½ inch off the bottom. Stand pineapple up and slice down the sides to remove the tough outer skin, being sure to cut deep enough to remove all the brown spots. Cut pineapple into quarters and slice off the tough inner core. Slice two quarters into ½ inch slices for use in this recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with ½ stick of softened butter, creating a thick layer of butter on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and a pinch of salt, cover with pineapple slices arranged in a single layer.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream the remaining stick of butter with sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well-incorporated. Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining salt together. Alternating between flour mixture and buttermilk, combine all remaining ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter over pineapple. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Immediately upon removal from oven, run a knife around the edge of the cake pan. Allow to cool 15 minutes before inverting onto a cake platter.
Serves 8 -12