Growing up I often saw photos of Pineapple Upside Down cakes in my mother's ladies magazines and on the telly, but it was not something that my mother ever baked. I suppose she might have considered it somewhat exotic, and she was a good, but plain cook.
Exotic was not really in her vocabulary when it came to food, and my dad really wouldn't have liked anything out of the ordinary anyways.
I always thought they looked so delicious and once I was grown up and living on my own, and raising a family, I often baked Pineapple Upside Down Cakes as a special treat. I used an old cast iron skillet and they were always very well received by everyone. We used to have them with dollops of sweetened whipped cream on top, or scoops of cold Vanilla Ice Cream.
I don't have an iron skillet over here. I have been looking for one, but haven't come across one yet. They are much too heavy to bring back on a plane when I go to Canada for visits. I thought Todd was going to have a heart attack the last time we went when I tried to stuff a full size turkey roaster in my bag. It took me a while to convince him that I wasn't nuts and that once you stuffed it and surrounded it with clothing it didn't take up much more room than a piece of paper would . . . well, at least that was my theory anyways.
The other night I baked my honey bun a delicious upside down pudding . . . a rich and buttery cake with a lucious toffee, apricot and hazelnut topping baked right in. Oh my but it was good.
Of course he enjoyed it with lashings of double cream . . .
And why not. In for a penny . . . in for a pound is what I always say!!!
*Upside Down Pudding*
Serves 6 to 8
Sometimes known as upside down cake, this is a delicious creamed cake mixture that is baked over top of a scrummy brown sugar and fruit base. Once it is baked and turn out, the fruit makes a very attractive picture with it's lovely rich butter, sugar and nut topping. You could also use pear halves and walnuts instead of the apricots and hazelnuts.
8 ounces unsalted butter, divided, plus extra for buttering the pan
2 ounces soft light brown sugar
14 to 16 hazelnuts
600g of tinned apricot halves, drained well
6 ounces demerara sugar
3 eggs, beaten
6 ounces self raising flour
2 ounces ground hazelnuts
2 TBS milk
custard or thick cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 10 inch round cake tin and base line it with nonstick baking paper.
Cream 2 ounces of the butter together with the soft light brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Spread over the base of the prepared tin. Put a hazelnut into the hollow of each apricot half and invert onto the base. The apricots should completely cover the surface.
Cream the remaining butter and the demerara sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour and then gently fold it into the creamed mixture, along with the nuts and milk, using a metal spoon. Spread the finished batter over the fruit.
Bake in the centre of the heated oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding and invert onto a armed plate to serve.
Serve warm and cut into wedges along with some custard or thick cream.