So here began an adventure in old fashioned cooking. I received a text inquiry from a dear friend as whether my husband and I could attend a small birthday dinner for hie wife on Saturday night. As is the custom in our circle of friends, I asked what I could bring. In response the text came back – Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
I thought he was joking, it seemed a very odd request. It turns out, however, that this is his wife’s favorite cake. Apparently he had faith that I had done this before, which I had not, but I appreciate the faith in my cooking prowess. There appears to have developed the mythology along my friends and acquaintances that I can cook anything, hard to live up to! As a result, of course, the challenge was taken up, the search for a recipe began.
After much recipe reading I settled on one with none of the delicious toxic maraschino red dye number something cherries and extra pineapple made in the old fashioned cast iron skillet. It starts with a kind of brown sugar caramel in the skillet with the pineapple rings laid in and all the spaces filled in with crushed pineapple. A batter made with coconut oil is then poured over and it is baked until golden brown, cooled and turned out onto a plate.
Despite 2 teaspoons of baking powder I was a bit surprised by how little it rose but it was satisfyingly brown and pretty (of course when it comes out you are looking at what will be the bottom). It was quite delicious, moist due to the extra pineapple and just enough for moderate slices for 10 when made in a classic 10″ straight sided cast iron skillet. If you want seconds, you had better make two. But everyone should have their favorite on their birthday.