When your husband works as an agricultural Biologist, you get used to “produce surprises” appearing in your kitchen on a semi-regular basis. Sometimes it’s a pound of local, fresh honey, others a little bean sprout begging to be planted. This week, it was a box of three, extremely ripe pineapples. And one of them became this scrumptious rum-laced cake.
Whenever these culinary surprises show up, I imagine myself a star on Iron Chef, tasked with creating a meal from our new found bounty. Silly? Probably.
With the pineapple, I was looking to highlight the sweet and tart flavors of fresh pineapple – almost like a tribute to the end of summer now we’re firmly in fall. And so the inspiration for this Pineapple Upside Down Cake was born.
This pineapple was a truly beautiful thing. Incredibly sweet and ripe, with low acidity (well, for a pineapple anyway).
I found a lovely recipe on Smitten Kitchen’s blog. Like her, I chose to omit the ground cardamom from the cake — though I did go back and garnish with cardamom afterward. Cardamom does a good job of balancing the rather intense sweetness of this cake.
I also added more RUM than she called for in her recipe. Excellent Appleton Estates rum. I swear, this blog should be call the Drunken Dragon sometimes. I put rum in the caramel topping, rum in the batter and garnished with rum once the cake was baked!
Overall, this produced an excellent cake. I highly recommend it. My one suggestion would be to lessen some of the sugar in the recipe: perhaps a 1/4 cup less in the batter (beware as I haven’t tested this). Particularly if you are using a sweet pineapple, the sugar can likely be cut back a bit.
This cake emerges from your cast iron skillet with the most beautiful caramel and pineapple topping. And on a side note: does anyone else think the picture above looks like a spiral galaxy? Haha, I do!
Have a good one!