When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's about the only fresh fruit that made a regular appearance in our house was apples and bananas. Fresh fruit really wasn't all that available in our small town . . . and I expect if it was, it was probably really expensive. We didn't mind that much though . . . my mother always made sure we had lots of tinned fruit.
We really loved it when we would have a dish of ice cream with some peaches or fruit cocktail for dessert. Dang! There never used to be enough cherries in that tin, did there?
I never tasted fresh pineapple until I was an adult, and fresh pineapple is really quite good, I'll admit . . . it's a real treat for me . . . I do love having a variety of tinned pineapple in my larder though . . . sliced, chunks, crushed. It all comes in very handy indeed.
I got a pineapple upside down cake tin (Nordic Ware) a few years ago, and I don't use it nearly enough. It's one of those pans you buy on impulse and then use only a few times . . . but when I do use it, I am always impressed with the results. It just makes the sweetest little individual pineapple cakes, don't you think?
I really fancied eating some pineapple today, but I didn't have any fresh pineapple in the house . . . it's not something I really keep on hand. I expect nobody does . . . unless they actually live in Hawaii. (What a dear thought that is!)
Anyways, I thought I would make an upside down cake and then I thought, why not use the pan. You don't need one of these special pans to make this delicious cake though . . . any 9 inch round cake tin will do.
This is a fabulously spiced and moist upside down cake. We do love our gingerbread in this house and this is a wonderful way to have it.
You get all the spicy deliciousness of a scrummy gingerbread . . . topped with the added treat of buttery brown sugar glazed pineapple rings . . . oh so yummy.
It's a good thing.
*Pineapple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake*
Makes one 9 inch round cake
Spicy gingerbread topped with sweet rounds of pineapple and halved cherries. What's not to like?
For the topping:
4 TBS butter
5 ounces soft light brown sugar (2/3 cup packed)
1 tin of pineapple rings, drained well (you'll need 6 to 8 rings) and patted dry
candied cherries for the centres (optional)
For the cake:
190ml of boiling water (3/4 cup)
125ml of dark molasses (1/2 cup)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
6.5 ounces plain flour (1 1/4 cups) (175g)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 TBS butter, softened
3.75 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed) (100g)
1 large egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter and flour a 9 inch round non-stick baking pan. Dust with flour lightly and set aside.
Melt the butter for the topping in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until foaming. Stir in the sugar. Turn to low and cook, stirring, for several minutes until the sugar is melted. Pour this into the prepared pan and tilt the pan back and forth to coat. Arrange the drained and dried pineapple slices over top of the sugar mixture, filling the centre in of each one with a cherry.
Measure the molasses into a jug. Pour the boiling water over top and stir. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Set aside to cool. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the liquid mixture, scraping down the bowl and mixing together well. Pour this over top of the pineapple slices in the pan to make an even layer.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until well risen and the cake is set and a toothpick inserted iin the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack. Allow to stand for five minutes before very carefully inverting onto a plate, replacing any fruit if it becomes dislodged. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, without or without some softly whipped cream.