In my search for something to satisfy my sweet tooth, (which happens to be the theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs this week) in my Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday cookbook, I was having trouble finding something that called to me. There were a few ice-cream desserts and a cookie or two, but I finally settled on this skillet pineapple upside down cake.
I'm down to the wire for my entry into I Heart Cooking Clubs this week, and it started out as kind of a lazy day.
It's rainy out. And dark and gloomy and cold. How much work was I ready to put into a dessert? I wanted something quick and easy and I wanted to use ingredients that I had on hand. I did not want to go out into the downpour that was going on. WAL-LAH! Pineapple Upside down cake---Mexican style!!
What could be more comforting than a hot, dense, fruit cake? (and I'm not about the kind of fruitcake you get at Christmas time. That's an entirely different post )
As Rick himself says, this fruity cake is good for breakfast too. (It really was) It's best warm from the oven, and if you don't like pineapple, you can substitute a variety of different fruits.
I wanted to try the pineapple upside down cake because it's so classic. And I wanted to see if I liked it. YES, I am one of those people who has never tired Pineapple upside-down cake. When I was a kid, it just didn't appeal to me.
My opinion now? I liked it...I liked this one, warm, right out of the oven for breakfast, and the browned butter gave the batter, as well as the finished cake, a nutty flavor that I've never tasted in a before in a baked good. The brown sugar coated pineapple chunks gave a hint of a caramel flavor. It went well with the nutty flavor from the browned butter. I liked it a lot.
Having said all that tho, I would probably use a different fruit next time... because while I liked the pineapple, I didn't love it....but that has nothing to do with this recipe, only my preference. I might try some blueberries or blackberries next time. Rick Bayless suggested apples too....that sounds great.
This is what it looked liked before I turned it upside down!
Pineapple Skillet Upside-down Cake
source: Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday
3 oz (6 tbls) butter, preferably unsalted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 cups 1/2 inch cubed pineapple
(or other fruit such as: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, pitted cherries, apple, pear)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or additional all-purpose)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
Turn on the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in the middle. Melt the butter in a large 10-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle (preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Swirl the butter in the skillet until it turns nut-brown, then pour it into a medium bowl. Without wiping out the skillet, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom. Top with fruit in an even layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Add the sugar to the butter and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, then the buttermilk or yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Pour the batter evenly over the fruit in the skillet. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch at the center. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes.
Invert a plate over the skillet, then holding plate and skillet firmly together with towels or potholders, invert the two in one swift motion. Remove the skillet and the cake is ready to serve. It's best right out of the oven.