Pecan Pineapple Upside-down Cake
This recipe is modernized by using fresh pineapple instead of canned (although canned pineapple can be substituted in a pinch).
Tip: When choosing a ripe pineapple, look for one with a bright yellow-gold color. Ideally, the whole fruit will be that color, but there may be some green. The further the yellow-gold color goes up from the base of the fruit, the better. Just be sure to never select a pineapple that is completely green.
1 medium pineapple (peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick) or 1 20-oz. can sliced pineapple
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 — 8 maraschino cherries, red and green
A few whole pecans
1 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)
Add butter to a 10'' skillet or (9'' round baking pan) and place it inside a warm oven until it's melted (about 5 minutes). Remove the skillet from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Artfully arrange the pineapple slices and cherries on top. Fill in the nooks and crannies with whole pecans.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir. Using a hand or stand mixer in a metal or glass bowl, beat the eggs whites at high speed until they're fluffy. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until they're creamy. Add the pineapple juice and vanilla extract and beat the ingredients well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until both are well combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites. Pour the cake mixture evenly over the fruit and smooth it with the spatula.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let stand in the skillet for five minutes. Invert a plate over the skillet and invert the cake onto the plate (keeping the plate and skillet firmly pressed together). Serve the cake just warm or at room temperature. Serve it with fresh whipped cream (optional).