An Illustrated recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

By Jodi Rhoden

Short Street Cakes

Asheville, NC

Here’s what you will need:

a 400 degree oven

a big, well-seasoned cast iron skillet

These dry ingredients, all sifted together:

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

these wet ingredients:

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons syrup from the can of sliced pineapple

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup melted butter

and these ingredients for the topping:

1/4 cup butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 can sliced pineapple

Pecan halves

Some maraschino cherries

Have everything measured out. Sift your dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients, and melt the butter. We in the trade call this “mis en place” which is French for “everything in place” or more loosely translated as “makes you feel like Julia Child because all your stuff is in neat little bowls.” Like so:

Pour the melted butter into the wet ingredients like so:

Now combine the butter and brown sugar in the skillet and simmer on low until combined (just a minute or two. Remove from heat. a-like so:

Now, pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, as Scott Peacock says, “whisk assertively.”:

Now, arrange your fruit and pecans in the skillet, on top of the brown sugar mixture, like this:

Now pour the batter on top of the fruit, gently, now, so as not to disturb the fruit:

Now stick it in the hot oven (you might want to put a cookie sheet under it so the drippies don’t burn on the bottom of the oven):

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Pull it out, and let it sit like this for 5-10 minutes.

Here comes the fun part:

Place your plate, or foil-covered board, or whatever, on top of the skillet. Put one gloved hand on top of the plate, and one under the skillet, and quickly flip the whole thing over. Gently lift the skillet off of the cake. If any of the fruit sticks in the skillet, just pick it out and quickly put it back in place. Nobody will know the difference. Let cool, enjoy, be proud of yourself. You just created a thing of beauty.