This delightful pineapple ring sponge is one of my few positive memories of school dinners (which I now all realize focus on foods consumed with custard). Unlike the gypsy tart, which appears to have been created with the express purpose of filling Kent school pupils at minimal cost, the upside-down tart has its roots in medieval Chinese cakes, and sophisticated French relatives in the form of the gateau renversi, which evolved into the tart tatten.
However, pineapples were too scarce and expensive to waste in such pans—much better to just rent one to show off to your friends—until James Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple Company decided to put it in cans and market it to the public through the medium. of an upside-down cake. This old idea became hotter in 1926, and as America progresses, Britain eventually follows; As Nigel Slater recalls, the upside-down pineapple cake was “as sexy as the cake you got at Wolverhampton in the ’60s,” while Jamie Oliver was singing about the version he made at his elementary school in Essex two decades later.
- Ingredients :
- to top
° 1 large pineapple, or 12 pieces canned pineapple in juice
° 75 grams butter
° 100gm light brown sugar
° 30 maraschino or cherry glass (optional)
- for cake
° 250gm butter, softened at room temperature
° 125g fine sugar
° 125gm light brown caster sugar
° 4 eggs
° 240g plain flour
° 3 teaspoons baking powder
° Half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
° Half a teaspoon of fine salt
° 1 teaspoon vanilla
° 3 tablespoons pineapple juice (from can, if using)
° 2 tablespoons golden syrup, sugar syrup, liquid honey, or maraschino cherry or ginger syrup, until finish (optional)
° Pineapple rings
Start preparing the pineapple, if necessary: cut the peel into slices, remove any “eyes”, then cut it in half, remove the core and cut it into a half-moon of about 1 cm. Lay the slices between two pieces of kitchen paper to dry (and do the same if you’re using canned rings).
Place a baking tray approximately 30cm x 21cm on a low heat and melt the butter and sugar for garnish until the bubbles boil. Turn the heat up, and arrange the pineapple rings nicely on top, then place a cherry in the middle of each if using.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4, and if you have one, place a baking tray or cast iron tray there to heat. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, then beat the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated before adding the other.
Inverted pineapple cake mix.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt, then add to the batter mixture, followed by the vanilla extract. Add enough pineapple juice that the mixture falls easily from the spoon, but does not ooze from it.
Put the mixture on the pineapple.
Pour the mixture over the pineapple in the tin, then pour over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until well-raised and set in the center.
Pineapple cake upside down, side up.
Remove, let cool in tin for five minutes, then run spatula around edge to loosen and run carefully on board. Spread with syrup, cut into portions and serve hot with custard, ice cream or cream.