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.