Pineapple Skillet Upside-Down Cake
For a while now I've been in love with Rick Bayless. Well not in love with him personally, though he does seem genuinely sweet, passionate and humble. No, it's his food that does it for me. I have my sister to thank for turning me onto him. She'd seen his show on PBS and found his quirky personality charming and his food looked simply delicious. Lucky for me, my birthday was around the corner and she sent me his cookbook "Mexican Everyday" as a gift. I pored over the book, paper-clipping pages of recipes to try immediately. Recipes that seemed so simple, with such few ingredients and fuss, exploded with such complex flavors in your mouth. This is authentic Mexican at its best - not your run of the mill Tex-Mex.
I'm ashamed to say that I received this book just over 2 years ago now and it's taken me this long to write about this amazing chef and book. I can't stress enough how much I adore this book. I have made some of the most simple, flavorful and healthy dishes with Rick's brilliant guidance. The proof is in the pages - speckled with chile powder, splashed with adobo sauce and stained by pickled jalapeño juice. One of the best attributes of this book is that there are so many variations and substitute suggestions. I can't wait to share the magical recipes that have delighted our palates, such as the smoky Chipotle Meatballs and the tangy Slow-cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapeños and Herbs. I promise to not hold out on you for long. In the meantime, take comfort in a warm slice of juicy, caramelized pineapple atop a tender cake. You'll want to put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Trust me. Wait for it to melt slightly from the warmth of the cake, slowly meandering like a river of vanilla sauce into all the nooks and crannies. It's heaven.
Pineapple (or Other Fruit) Skillet Upside-Down Cake - adapted from Rick Bayless
- 3oz (6tbs) butter, unsalted
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark brown preferably)
- 3 cups 1/2-inch cubed, cleaned pinapple (about 3/4 of a medium pinapple) OR 3 cups (about 1 lb) fresh or frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or pitted cherries OR 3 cups 1/2-inch cubed apple, pear, peaches, nectarines or mango
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or additional AP flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 375F and position the rack in the middle. Melt the butter in a large (10-inch) oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Swirl the butter in the skilllet until it turns nut-brown, then pour it into a medium bowl. Without wiping the skillet, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom. Top with the fruit in an even layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, soda and baking powder. Add the white sugar to the browned butter and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, then the buttermilk or yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones. Whisk just until combined.
Pour the batter evenly over the fruit in the skillet. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch at the center. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
Invert a plate over the skillet, then, holding plate and skillet firmly together with pot holders, invert the two in one swift movement. Remove the skillet and the cake is ready to serve. It's best right out of the oven.