Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
For the topping:
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
12 whole allspice
3 tbsp crystallized ginger
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 lb fresh cherries, pitted (optional)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
For the Batter:
1 1/4 cups cake flour (soft-wheat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
- In a large saucepan, bring the water and granulated sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the cinnamon, allspice, crystallized ginger, and pineapple slices, making sure that the fruit is covered with the syrup.
- Cover and simmer until the pineapple is tender when pierced with a fork (approx 15-20 mins).
- Add the cherries during the last 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, drain the fruits and set aside.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 inch (25 cm) round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Pour in melted butter and use a fork to spread in the brown sugar over-top.
- Top with pineapple slices, slightly overlapping for a snug fit, add the cherries to the centers of the pineapples. Reserve the rest of the cherries for garnishing when serving the cake, and use the leftover pineapple for something else.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
- In a large, deep bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat vigorously with a whisk until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.
- Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of the dry ingredients until almost fully incorporated.
- fold in 1/2 of the buttermilk, then fold in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining buttermilk.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients, using a light lifting motion and turning the bowl continuously. Fold in until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Do not fold too vigorously otherwise the cake will be tough
- In a clean bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Slowly pour in the granulated sugar while continuing to beat until the mixture firms up slightly. The whites should fall over gently when the beaters are lifted.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Spread the batter over-top the pineapples in the prepared pan.
- Bake cake until it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top should feel slightly firm to the touch.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Invert a serving plate on top of the pan, and holding the plate and pan together, invert them.
- Gently pull off the pan, if the parchment has adhered to the cake, carefully peel it off.