Prep 34 mins
Cook 45 mins
I was watching Emeril one day and almost fell off the sofa. He was making a pineapple upside down cake and it's almost the exact same recipe my mother used the one and ONLY time she made that same cake. But you HAVE to hear the story behind this one. My cousin Janice and I spent a lot of time together when we were kids. Mom cooked but truth be told she was not the best there was. This one day, however, Mom decided to try her hand at pineapple upside down cake. Ok...from now on I'm calling it PUD cake...way too much to type. Anyway, she spent the better part of a morning really concentrating on this recipe. When it came out of the oven -- it looked pretty good! Wow! Mom made a PUD cake!! Of course, Jan and I stood ready with forks and plates but Mom said we had to wait for dinner, to go outside and play and she had better not find finger marks in the cake. So not wanting to risk a whipping, we went outside knowing that in a couple of hours she would call us in to wash up and eat. Man, we would have endured burnt brussel sprouts and liver just to get to that dessert! After a while, we noticed that Mom had gone across the street to chat with a neighbor. Naturally the plot was hatched to sneak inside and maybe we could slip a finger up under the cake for a nibble without it being noticed. Ok...so remember the whole shock and awe thing on TV with the war? Nuh-uh -- we had the first shock and awe incidents ever recorded in history. Mom had left the cake on the buffet on a glass pedestal and covered with saran wrap. The saran wrap was disheveled beyond belief. Huge crumbs were laying all over the buffet and on one side it looked like the cake had been literally attacked. Big chunks were missing! Man! We didn't do it!! I mean, for REAL -- this time we could truthfully say we didn't do it. But who did? Ok, that was shock and awe #1. Here we are standing there staring at the destroyed cake with ragged pineapples and cherries hanging off the cake plate. Kids are basically pretty dumb. Had we any clue at all, we would have run for the hills because shock and awe #2 came when Mom threw open the front screen door, took one look at the cake, one look at us standing there staring at the cake and it was on! This was one of those whippings where your Mother just comes out swinging and what's worse, she's talking in between each blow. You can hear it, can't you? "Didn't I tell you..." thwack thwack thwack "...not to touch that cake..." thwack thwack thwack "...after I spent all morning..." thwack thwack thwack You feel it, don't you? ha ha!!! We did too. The whole time the three of us are running around the dining room table. The dust balls must have been rolling around laughing. It all looked really comical. Mom going one way, us going another, trying to dodge the bullets until she finally tired out and made us go sit on the steps in the front hallway. Now, here's me and Jan, sitting on the steps punished. And this time we really were innocent! Mom is still in the kitchen and she is PISSED. Just then, Jan pinches my arm and says, "A!" (family calls me "A") "...look!!!" There at the front door stretched out in the hot sun streaming through the storm door was Dusty...our old gray alley-turned-house cat. She was cleaning herself as cats do...taking long luxurious strokes with her tongue OF PUD CAKE EMBEDDED IN HER FUR AND PAWS! Dusty was the culprit! The cat ate the cake! So we start calling, Ma -- "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" "Sissyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" (Jan called my Mom Sissy) "Look!!!" She comes storming out of the kitchen and we are off the steps pointing at the cat. "Dusty ate the cake." And do you know what this woman says to us? "Don't you blame that poor cat! You all probably fed it to her. Didn't I tell you not to give that cat people food?" No way! We're still on punishment and now for 5 extra minutes because we got up off the step to lie on the cat!!!??? AAARRRGGHHH. But later that night, shock and awe #3 came at the one and only time Mom apologized for a whipping. We had gone to bed. Mom was in the kitchen and hearing peculiar noises from the dining room, she found Dusty back at it hot and heavy. So there....now you know where shock and awe really came from and why Mom always felt too guilty to ever make PUD cake again. Oh and by the way, we never figured out what really happened to that cat. Enjoy!!!
- 1⁄2 ripe medium pineapple, peeled, cored, eyes removed and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (about 4 or 5 slices)
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 14 pecan halves
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 4 fresh cherries, halved and pits removed
- Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, over medium heat.
- Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the sugar mixture is bubbly, about 2 minutes.
- Arrange pineapple slices in the skillet in a pleasing pattern and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar mixture turns an amber color.
- Turn the pineapple slices over and remove the pan from the heat. (The mixture will continue to cook even though the heat is off.)
- Arrange the pecan halves in the spaces
- between the rings. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the remaining 1/2 cup butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 batches, mixing at low speed after each addition until just combined. Stir in the vanilla and rum.
- Spoon the batter evenly over the pineapple slices in the skillet.
- Bake in the middle of the oven until golden
- brown and a tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cool the cake in the skillet on a wire rack for 4 minutes only.
- Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake
- and, wearing oven mitts and working quickly, invert the cake onto a cake plate, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together.
- Carefully lift the skillet off cake and replace any fruit stuck to the bottom of
- the skillet, if necessary.
- Arrange the fresh cherry halves, cut side down, into the top of the cake, in the
- center of the pineapple rings.
- Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
This by far is the most hilarious story I've ever heard. My mom also made PUD cakes when we were little. After mom went to bed to get some rest before her midnight shift, my brother, sister & I would sneak into the kitchen and eat the cake right out of the cast iron skillet. That PUD cakes brings back the most wonderful memories. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Melody
This has got to be one of the funniest true stories that I have read in a very long time. I agree with one of the comments about sending this to Emeril! If you want to read an equally funny and true story about another cat named Rudy, look up: snopes.com/critters/disposal/catchday.asp
oh goodness, that is hilarious!!! just because of that story alone, i promise to make the cake in this following week and come back to rate.