PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into eight or nine 3/4-inch-thick slices OR 1 LARGE can of pineapple slices or crushed works too
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup WHOLE buttermilk (do NOT use light or reduced fat)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Heat a cast iron 9-inch skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter.
- Add the slices of pineapple in a single layer and sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit.
- Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
- Cook until the pineapple browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pineapple slices. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
- Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda until completely smooth. (The batter will be fairly stiff)
- Pour the batter over the pineapple.
- Transfer the skillet to the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Cool for about 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving platter. Cooling any longer may make cake stick. If you cool too much, quickly heat the bottom of the skillet before inverting.
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Juice from 1 LARGE lime
1/4 cup COLD water
2 teaspoons (pink) peppercorns
- Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a medium stainless saucepan.
- Stir in the pink peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking until the sugar is dissolved, and then cooking 10 minutes more.
- Pour through sieve to remove large pepper pieces.
- Set aside to cool slightly.
- After cake is inverted pour the caramel over the cake.
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