Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It is spring here. The days have been in the seventies and even eighties, though tonight it will go as low as 35 degrees. Both flowers and trees are blooming. We are discussing and planning our annual flower selection this year. I am considering Bee Balm, which is a perennial. It is available in white, pink and purple, and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. We already have several bushes that attract hummingbirds and we would like to continue this trend. Bee Balm grows from two to four feet tall, so it will not work in the area we need to fill, but sounds so interesting that I will find a place for it, if recommended by our local nursery. It is said to have a citrus-mint fragrance. I think I have decided on Dusty Miller as a backdrop to a mass planting of purple Salvia with some violet and white Salvia mixed in. Salvia attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, also. So we will have quite the fragrant and busy backyard, if all goes as planned!

The following recipe was always one of my favorite quick dessert recipes. It can be made at the last minute for unexpected guests, almost everyone enjoys it, and it does not require a separate frosting.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Serves 9

1 8-1/2 ounce can crushed pineapple
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon rum, optional

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Drain the pineapple reserving the syrup. Melt the butter in a 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan. Add the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the reserved syrup. Arrange the pineapple evenly in the bottom of the pan. 

Add water, and 1 tablespoon rum, if desired, to the remaining syrup to make 1/2 cup and reserve. 

Cream together the 1/3 cup butter and granulated sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the reserved syrup mixture, beating after each addition. Spread the batter over the pineapple. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. If there is any leftover cake, refrigerate and serve cold. It will keep for about 1 day.

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