Pineapple upside-down cake
For the topping:
½ stick (1/4 cup) sweet butter
3/4 cup packed light (or dark) brown sugar
1 teaspoon mixture of blended spices: ginger, cinnamon, and green anise powder
1 cup fresh (or canned) pineapple slices, cut into shapes of your choice
8-10 fresh Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 cup diced pecans
For the cake batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) sweet butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375⁰F
For the topping:
1. Spray a 10-inch cake pan (or cast-iron skillet) with Pam, especially the sides.
2. In a skillet, add butter and melt over a medium flame until foam subsides.
3. Reduce heat and add brown sugar and spices. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes while sugar melts.
4. Remove skillet from the heat and arrange pineapple in a decorative pattern. Add cherry halves, rounded side down. Evenly add a layer of nuts.
For the cake:
1. Sift together in a bowl the two flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In another bowl beat together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer.
3. When light and fluffy, add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
4. Add one egg at a time making sure each is fully integrated.
5. With the mixer at medium speed, add in buttermilk beating until just combined.
6. Add flour mixture in thirds until just combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
7. Spoon batter mixture over the fruit. Do not fill the pan more than 2/3 full or batter will expand over the edges during cooking.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40- to 45 minutes. When golden brown and springy to the touch, remove the cake from the oven and test with a tooth pick. If it comes out dry, the cake is done.
9. Run a knife around the edge, place a serving plate on top of the pan and invert the cake. Carefully lift off the cake pan. Replace any pieces of fruit which may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
10. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche or whipped cream.
Wine recommendation: This dessert is rich so no wine, even a dessert wine, is recommended. However, after dessert a small snifter of Cognac, Armagnac or Calvados might be nice.