If you have ever taken part in our Pokeno night, you know it can be a lot of fun! Women meeting, eating great food, and playing games, sign me up! Well, the last time we got together, someone brought a pineapple upside down cake. Just seeing this brought back so many memories for me. When I was a kid, my mother would make these in her iron skillet. The cake would be so beautiful – round with pineapple rings, and cherries in the middle. Since we played Pokeno last, I can’t stop thinking of this cake! I think it needs to be apart of my Superbowl Sunday menu. I go to look up the recipe and I see all kinds of fun retro cake recipes. This is from back when people had time to sift flour!
The idea of cooking a cake upside down, is an old technique that started centuries ago when cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets. It was easy for a cook to add fruit and sugar in the bottom of the pan and a simple cake batter on top and put it over the fire to cook. Afterwards, flipping the cake over onto a plate was a natural way to show the pretty fruit and let it run into the cake. The idea of the pineapple came about soon after 1911 when one of James Dole's engineer had invented a machine to cut his pineapples into nice rings. Soon the convenient and pretty rings were used in this age-old technique of the skillet cake. The invention of the maraschino cherry added the necessary color needed to make this cake stunning. The first recorded recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake According to John Mariani's ( The Dictionary of American Food and Drink , Revised Edition, 1994), "The first mention in print of such a cake was in 1930, and was so listed in the 1936 Sears Roebuck catalog, but the cake is somewhat older." In Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads(1995), Sylvia Lovegren traces pineapple upside-down cake to a 1924 Seattle fund-raising cookbook...While rooting around in old women's magazines I found a Gold Medal Flour ad with a full-page, four-color picture of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake--a round cake with six slices of pineapple, candied red cherries, and a brown sugar glaze. The date: November 1925." --- American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century , Jean Anderson (p. 432) Pineapple Upside Down Cake
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
20 ounce can sliced pineapple
10 maraschino cherries halved
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon butter melted
In a cast iron skillet add butter and melt over low heat. Remove from heat and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in the pan over melted butter.
Place slices of pineapple on bottom of skillet. Next add cherries. Set aside.
In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Next you will want to separate your eggs. In a mixing bowl add the egg whites and mix/beat just until a soft peak forms. Gradually add the white sugar and beat until a medium-stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl add the egg yolks and mix until thick. Gently fold the egg yolks and the flour mixture into the mixing bowl with egg whites. Next add 1 tablespoon melted butter. Then add almond extract.
Spread the batter in the skillet evenly over the pineapples and cherries.
Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen the sides of the cake from pan by running a butter knife around the inside of pan. Invert cake onto a serving platter and let stand 5 minutes. Remove pan and allow cake to cool before serving.