It was a very pleasant evening with a group of friends and colleagues and we had a great laugh; it was one of those girly evenings that are just inexplicably enjoyable. Our hostess had laid on a lovely cold buffet - an assortment of delicious salads - which we enjoyed alfresco as it was a warm sunny evening. For dessert we all brought something to the table - including my Pineapple upside-down cake. It was eclipsed by a fab Pavlova laden down with fresh strawberries and raspberries nesting in the whipped cream, and a lovely Swiss Roll. I cheated a bit and bought along a tub of ready-whipped fresh cream on my way to the beach, as I didn't know if the caravan would have the wherewithal to whip cream and anyway it seemed like too much hard work for an after-work get-together.
As we were all driving home (except the hostess who was already home!) we passed on the wine which meant no sore heads the next day. Always a good thing on a weekday. The provenance of this recipe is an old Dutch magazine cutout - I have the original on a pulled-out page from a Margriet (I think 1988 or thereabouts - the date is obliterated) which is tattered and dog-eared, but as it lives inside one of my mother's old cookery books it will last another few decades. I used to make this frequently when we lived in the tropics as we had such delicious fresh pineapples - even from our own garden in some instances - and it's so simple that the ingredients were always to hand. Now I use the canned slices with the hole in the middle - you could use fresh but it's a bit of a lottery how they turn out - sometimes they are just right but often they are either underripe and hard or over-ripe and starting to rot in spots.
Hubby has a theory that I feel has some merit - that it's preferable to eat pineapple that's locally canned close to the source (i.e. the pineapple plots) at its prime ripeness than to eat dodgy "fresh" pineapple that's got huge airmiles clocked up (or shipping miles) after being picked under-ripe on the off-chance that it'll reach optimum ripeness as it arrives on the shelves or market stalls. When we lived in Tanzania the Dabaga Canning Factory was next door to the Concern office in Ipogoro where the most wonderful smells emanated throughout the year, contingent on the seasonality of the crops - this is a prime example of green organic and fairly traded food production and I have a lot of regard for it; you can check out its brochure here.
So give it a try and you won't be disappointed.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
(translated from the Dutch by me - hope it's accurate enough!)
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- 200g//7oz sugar
- 65g/3oz soft butter/margarine
- 1 egg
- 1 teasp. vanilla essence or 1 sachet vanilla sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 can pineapple slices
- Whipped Cream or Ice Cream to serve
- Grease a Springform Baking Tin
- Line with drained Pineapple slices and half-slices as shown in photo
- Mix all the other ingredients together to make a smooth semi-stiff batter, more pouring than dropping consistency
- Pour the cake batter over the Pineapple slices
- Bake in oven pre-heated to 150 degrees Centigrade/300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 mins until baked through and golden brown
- Cool in tin, then turn out onto serving plate
- If you want to glaze it after baking, see Handy Tip below and be sure to use ovenproof plate while browning in oven
- Serve slices with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream
Instead of greasing the Springform baking tin, you could line it with 50g/2oz melted butter with 100g brown sugar dissolved in it. This will caramelise in the baking to give a nice golden-brown glaze.
I forgot to do this at the start but at the end I improvised (in the manner of the best/most forgetful bakers!) by adding the melted butter to the finished cake and sprinkling over the brown sugar and then returning it to the top shelf of the oven for 5-10 mins until the same effect was achieved.
This is delicious with a nice cuppa tea or coffee, and it has a lovely sticky-pudding-y texture which is quite filling (so you shouldn't over-indulge), yet healthy enough to be one of your Five-a-Day (fruit'n'veg) portions if you are seriously guilt-tripping yourself!