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Looking to Make Special Surprise: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in Cast-Iron Skillet

OK 'Hounds, need your help!
My sister and I were in dire housing straits, will be taken in by our aunt. She remembers a pineapple upside-down cake that our father (her brother, since deceased) used to make. She remembers the wonderful smell and delicous taste when he took it out of the oven.
We just took a tour of her (small) kitchen, and she produced - Wheeee!!! a cast iron skillet!!!
Well, our turn to pay back -
Once we're moved, we want to make a pineapple upside-down cake in her honor, using her cast iron skillet. : )
Your best recipes, PLEASE!!!
Thanks!

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  1. that's really thoughtful of you - i'm sure your aunt will appreciate the gesture :)

    here's an excellent one from Gourmet Magazine. limit the cardamom to 1 or 2 tsp, and add a little cinnamon & ground ginger if it strikes your fancy...
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thank you goodhealth, this looks delicious!!

      1. re: aurora50

        Do heed the warning to go easy on the cardamom, unless you're familiar with it and know you want that flavor apparent. It's heady stuff.

        1. re: blue room

          I like to add a dash of spiced rum to the fruit initially, speaking of heady stuff.

    2. I still love Wolfgang Puck's recipe or is Sherry Yard's.... not sure. I made a few changes like adding dried cherries to it. Delisiously moist, I love the cake batter. I didn't use my cast iron on this one but it will give you and idea..
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/7220939@...
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/7220939@...
      Actually its the best recipe I've tried, and I've tried using fresh pineapple too, I really love this one.

      6 Replies
        1. re: aurora50

          dug up a few more for ya:
          http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2008/1...

          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

          i can't seem to find Sherry Yard's recipe from Spago that Chicklet mentioned above, but perhaps she'd be kind enough to paraphrase for you if you want it.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            that foodblogga recipe looks classic, except that there's no fat (butter or shortening) in the actual cake. I'm trying to imagine how the cake part would turn out.

            1. re: missmasala

              ooh, and i just re-read it, and it also calls for baking in a pan, not a skillet. okay, forget that one! :)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I've made Puck's pineapple upside down cake in both a cake pan and skillet. With the skillet you get more crunchy edge and crust, they're both quite good. And actually, the recipe attached to that link is different. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure the one I have from his cookbook is hers, I guess since she does all of his pastry I thought it was hers, looking at it, I don't see her getting credit after all...hmmm.

          2. re: aurora50

            Cake:
            1 1/2 cups sifted flour -AP
            1 1/2 t baking powder
            salt - I use about 1/8 sea salt or kosher
            1/4lb butter - salted - this is different than the recipe
            1 stick of butter softened
            1/4- 1/2 cup of dried cherries soaked in hot water, drained well. Or you can use marachino cherries drained well, cut in half.
            1/2 cup baker's sugar (small grind) not necessary you can use regular)
            2 large eggs - room temperature - in a bowl to drop in one at a time - look for shells or
            I like to use a small strainer to remove the large white thing in the egg. Don't break the yolk.
            1 tsp tahitian or good vanilla (the recipe calls for extract)
            3/4 cup whole milk (doesn't designate what %fat)
            Topping:
            3 T butter- I use salted
            3/4 c packed brown sugar I use what I have - this is a difference
            3/4 can of pineapple chunks, drained well. Or you can use crushed, or whole, fresh pineapple too. I didn't have success the time I used fresh, I probably dry the fresh pineapple well enough..

            Preheat oven 350 F
            1. Spray the cast iron pan with non stick (I have a nice dark 9 inch cake pan-the results are really nice I think)
            2. Sift the dry ingredients 2-3 times - set aside
            3. Melt 3 T butter in the bottom of your pan, swirl it around to coat evenly tip to come up sides a bit, sometimes I use 4 T - Sprinkle your brown sugar spreading it nice evenly.
            4. Make the cake. I use a KA, but if you don't get another bowl for a handmixing.
            For the KA use the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until its light and fluffy might take about a minute or so. Clean the sides of the bowl down with a spatula, also scrape the bottom of the bowl to pull up anything that's not getting mixed. Continue beating at high speed, now gradually add your sugar. Now add the eggs carefully one at a time, stop and scrape the sides, continue after each egg. Now lastly the vanilla. Mix at a slow speed, using a spatula add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Beat until the batter is smooth.
            5. Spread the batter evenly over the pineapple. Bake in the center of the oven middle rack, 35 to 40 minutes. use a tester straw looking for a clean straw, without any batter.
            Remove from the oven - place on a rack to cool - for about 5-10 mins. Then the tricky part is planning this so the brown sugar is nicely melted and you don't have problems getting it out of the pan. I've flipped it too soon before and there were small cracks in the upside down part, but I'd used rings that time. Take your time.
            6. Using mitts or hot pads, you'll need to place a plate or serving dish-flip carefully and gently.

            This is a cake I put out often for parties and gatherings, I've served it with and without whipped cream, with homemad vanilla ice cream and the plate is wiped out. The cake part is just the best.

            This is such a sweet thing to do for your aunt, I know I'd appreciate that someone did this for me, Good Luck! sharon

        2. It's such a great comfort food dessert! Make sure you time the removal (flipping out of the pan) carefully - 5 minutes is about right (wait too long, it can stick -)so pull it out of the oven and set that timer for 5 minutes.

          Cover leftovers at room temp, It's even better the next day.

          1. My grandmother's recipe, from my family cookbook (my notes in parentheses, and further explanation of my tweaks at the bottom):

            Put 1 c. brown sugar in the bottom of a #10 cast iron skillet - 1/2 stick oleo (I use butter) dotted on sugar - drain a can of pineapple slices (I reserve the juice) - place on sugar

            Cake:
            1 1/2 c. flour (see my notes at the bottom)
            2 t. baking powder
            1/3 c. shortening (again, I use butter)
            1 c. sugar
            1/2 t. salt
            2/3 c. milk

            Beat 2 minutes. Add 1 egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour over pineapple. Bake 20-30 mins at 350.

            My notes: This was originally a typical WWII one-bowl economy/dinette cake, with few rationed ingredients like eggs and butter. Living as I do without ration books, I increase the flour to 2.5 cups, increase the butter in the cake to 1/2 cup, and add another egg. I also add a splash of vanilla, and sour the milk with 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice before adding. I use the creaming method rather than beating everything together.

            This is a tried and true, classic recipe that has won over many a skeptic! :)

            1. When I think Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in Cast-Iron Skillet... I go for the Betty Crocker (red binder) cookbook.