I usually make some kind of dessert on the weekends. One day last summer I asked my husband what he was in the mood for and he said pineapple upside-down cake. I immediately turned up my nose and said "Really??" I thought "Who eats pineapple upside-down cake anymore...that's so 70's!!" I had never made it before, and I'm pretty sure I'd never even eaten it before. But, I was willing to try.
So, I pulled out one of my Cook's Illustrated cookbooks. Sure enough they had a recipe for pineapple upside-down cake. While I was making it, I thought "this will be an easy dessert for me to stay out of" which is not a bad thing!
Well, no one was more shocked than I was at how much I liked this cake! Let me rephrase that - I LOVED this cake!!! In fact, I'm pretty sure I ate half of it by myself....I just couldn't stop eating it. I loved that it tasted soooo good without frosting. It was so fresh and light compared to frosted cakes. Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and you have a perfect summer dessert! So, don't turn your nose up at this recipe....give it a try. I bet you will be surprised at how much you enjoy it ☺
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornmeal
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temp and separated
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, + more for pan
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 small fresh pineapple, cored & cut into 3/8" thick slices
Preheat oven to 350 & butter a 9x13 inch round cake pan. Topping - In a medium saucepan melt the 4 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook until mixture is foamy and pale (3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into cake pan and make sure to coat bottom of pan completely. Arrange the sliced pineapple over the topping and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Slowly add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, or until it's light and fluffy. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until combined. Add dry mixture and milk, alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter evenly into the cake pan, and bake until top is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean (about 60 minutes).
Remove cake from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Slide a paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a serving platter face down on top of cake pan, and while holding tightly, flip/invert the cake onto the plate. Carefully remove the pan. Serves 8-10.