I know it's a little late in the day, but I wanted to wish a very Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! I would like to send a special wish to my very own dad, who has been a constant source of strength, encouragement and inspiration to me throughout the years.
I am also very blessed to have a wonderful father-in-law, too, who has been there for me and helped out when we've needed an extra hand around the house during our whole renovation period.
My dad has always been a huge fan of camping and all things outdoors, so cast iron skillets are always high on his list of 'favorite kitchen items.' Recently, my parents renovated their kitchen, and that renovation included a new, glass-top stove. Imagine my dad's dismay when he realized that every movement of his beloved cast-iron skillet risked scratching their brand new stovetop. He knew that he would not be able to use his cast-iron skillet for everyday cooking anymore.
While planning thier last trip to Chicago, my parents asked if I would want them to bring the skillet. As much as I'm sure he hated to say goodbye to his skillet, I was giddy at the thought of finally having my first piece of cast iron! And what better way to celebrate a well-seasoned cast iron skillet than to make a super-sticky, super caramelly pineapple upside down cake.
Using fresh pineapple and making it in a cast iron skillet gives this cake a taste far superior than the others I have made in the past. The best part is that this skillet is so well-seasoned that even the stickest of sugar refused to stick. Cleanup was a breeze!
Even though I didn't have cardamom as called for in the original recipe, the allspice/cinnamon combination I substituted with was delicious. It was a bit like a spice cake with a sweet, fruity, caramel topping.
Only after I baked the cake did I realize that I baked mine in an 11 1/4" cast iron skillet, not 10 inches like it calls for in the recipe. Thankfully, I checked my cake early, and I'm glad I did, because it finished 15 minutes or so earlier than the recipe called for since the batter spread thinner in the larger skillet.
It was absolutely delicious! I can't wait to make this again, and even the hubby said this was my best pineapple upside down cake, yet!
Hope all the daddies out there had a fabulous Father's Day!! You deserve it!
Adapted Slightly From Epicurious
1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tablespoons dark rum for sprinkling over cake
a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut pineapple crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple on top of sugar mixture in concentric circles, overlapping pieces slightly.
Sift together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)
Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet 5 minutes. Sprinkle rum over the cake and let it absorb. Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together). Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of skillet.
Serve cake just warm or at room temperature. (With a scoop of vanilla ice cream!)