I adopted this recipe after its original poster, Mean Chef, departed the site. Mean posted it on Feb 5, 2003, and made these comments: "This version of the pineapple upside-down cake is absolutely stunning. You will impress everyone."
- 14 pineapple slices (rings from 1 1/2 20 ounce cans packed in Unsweetened pineapple juice)
- 1⁄4 cup pecan halves
- 1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup creme fraiche (homemade or store-bought) or 1 cup sour cream
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, divided and at room tempature
- 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon (optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use a 10-inch (measure across the bottom) cast iron pan. (although this cake can be made in a round cake pan, it is better if you use cast iron).
- Drain pineapple slices and place on paper towels to absorb moisture. (you will need 8 whole slices; the other 6 will be cut in half).
- Whisk or stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together just to blend; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir the vanilla into the creme fraiche or sour cream; set aside.
- Melt 2 oz of butter in the cast iron pan.
- Add the brown sugar and bourbon (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts.
- Place 1 whole pineapple slice in the center of the pan and 7 whole slices surrounding it.
- Place the half slices side by side against the sides of the pan, the two cut edges down touching the brown sugar.
- Place pecan halves in the middle of each pineapple slice and in the gaps between the fruit.
- Place remaining butter (4 oz.) and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use a hand-held mixer, and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- The butter and sugar must be beaten until light and fluffy; don't rush it- the process can take 3 to 4 minutes with a heavy-duty mixer and 6 to 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer.
- Reduce speed to medium adding eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Working with a rubber spatula, carefully fold in dry ingredients and creme fraiche alternately- 3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 of creme fraiche. (you will end up with a thick batter).
- Spoon batter over pineapple and smooth the top by spreading the batter with an offset spatula.
- Put the cast iron pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean (test in a couple places to be certain).
- As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, turn it out onto a round plate large enough to hold the cake.
- If any of the fruit sticks to the skillet, use a small spatula to place it back on the cake.
- NOTE: The cake can be kept wrapped in plastic at room temperature overnight.
SO good. The cake itself is dense and buttery, not too sweet with a gentle tang from the creme fraiche. And the caramel is beautiful. I only wish there were more of it! I think next time I may add a couple more tablespoons of butter and another 1/4 cup of brown sugar before adding the pineapple. I used 1/2 of a fresh pineapple that I cut in chunks and drained well. And I wavered on whether or not to add the pecans, but I am SO glad I did. I thought they really added to the flavor and richness. I even went so far as to top the cake with a big scoop of butter pecan ice cream :) Yum. Just yum.
**Made this again for a potluck and added half again as much butter and brown sugar in the topping. Even better!!! I did have to omit the nuts because one of the gals has a nut allergy, but added dried cranberries to the topping which was almost as good as the pecans :)
I followed your recipe exactly. Even made my own creme fraiche and waited 24 hours just so I could try this recipe. It was well worth the wait! This recipe produced a delicious, moist cake with a texture and taste which hinted at cheesecake. And talk about a stunning presentation! I've been making Upside Down Cakes for years and never thought to place half slices of pineapple along the sides of my cast iron skillet. The only change I made was that I cut Marischino cherries in half and placed the halves in the gaps between the pineapple slices and left the pecan halves in the middle of the slices. This added a little color. Really got some raves on this cake!! I think I will retire my old "stand-by" recipe, this one is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing, Mean Chef.
I loved this cake, will be lucky to get another piece, DH loves it too!! The only change I made was to use fresh pineapple instead of canned. DH made the comment that this cake would also be awesome using an apple pie filling recipe on top instead of the pineapple. I liked that this recipe didn't use a box cake mix, this was so much better and worth the extra effort.