A chronicle of my life in recipes. I love to cook, but more importantly I love to eat. The food you cook and eat tells a story of where you were raised and the path you have traveled. This is my story . . .

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thomas Keller's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Don't allow the steps and number of ingredients listed in this recipe deter you, it is simple and well worth the 20 minutes or so of preparation. As a young girl, I remember my mom always making pineapple upside down cake, with those perfect canned rings and bright red cherry placed deliberately in the middle. I haven't really given the cake much thought since those days, but seeing Thomas Keller's version in Wine Spectator sparked my interest once again. I was visiting my best bud Becky in Nashville and thanks to the flood, had an extra day to spend there and do some baking. Not even Thomas escaped a few small changes, I have noted them in the ingredient list and instructions. I have made the cake twice now and although my husband commented that, "it is a little boozy," I plan on making it again! More recipes from Nashville to come, it was three solid days of rain and cooking.

8 T Butter, softened
1 1/2 T Honey, I used a very light honey
1/2 tsp. Dark Rum
1 C Brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla, he suggests paste, I used liquid
Kosher salt

Mix all ingredients except salt until smooth. Spread 1/3 C in the bottom of a 9 inch silicone cake pan. Sprinkle with salt. Mr. Keller didn't say what to do with the remaining Schmear, so I used all but 2 T of it in the bottom of a spring form pan. Only use the spring form if you have a very tight seal. You can check it by filling the sealed pan with some water. The second time I used it I was with another friend and the pan leaked, you don't want that mess in your oven. I also greased and dusted the sides of the pan only, the cake pulls away beautifully.

1 Pineapple
1 1/3 C Cake flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
8 T Butter, softened
1/2 C plus 2 T Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 Large eggs
1 T plus 1 tsp. Milk
I also added 1/2 tsp. of the rum to the cake and a pinch of salt
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut top and bottom ends off of the pineapple, cut away all the outer peel. Cut pineapple from end to end into quarters and trim away the core on each quarter. Slice wedges into 1/8-1/4 inch slices and arrange slices in a circle beginning at the outside of the cake pan and slightly overlapping the slices until you reach the center and the schmear is completely covered.
Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with butter mixture and add vanilla and the eggs one at a time, scraping again as needed. Add milk and beat in flour in 3 batches, just until combined.
Spread the batter over the pineapple and bake at 350 degrees, 15 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Cool in the pan 20-30 minutes, if you can wait that long, we couldn't and it came out of the pan just fine. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the edges and invert onto a serving platter. The cake will store at room temperature for 2 days.

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