Susan’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake
From LaVerne’s Good Housekeeping Cookbook
1-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
1- number 2 can pineapple chunks (*or rings – see note below)
5 maraschino cherries
1/3 cup soft shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup syrup drained from pineapple
1. Start heating oven to 350°F. Sift flour, baking powder, salt. Melt butter in 8″ x 8″ x 2″ aluminum cake pan over low heat on top burner: remove from heat; sprinkle with brown sugar.
2. Meanwhile, drain pineapple chunks, reserving syrup. On brown sugar mixture, arrange to six pineapple chunks to form small daisy. Repeat, making five daisies in all. Extra chunks maybe placed between daisies and at edges of pan. (*James remembers that Mom used pineapple rings instead here). Fill in with partial rings. Place drained maraschino cherry in center of each daisy (*or ring).
3. Starting in large electric mixer bowl, with mixer at medium speed, mix shortening with sugar, then with egg and vanilla, until very light and fluffy-about four minutes altogether. At low speed, beat in alternately, just until smooth, flour mixture in thirds and pineapple syrup in halves. Spread batter carefully over pineapple daisies, keeping design intact.
4. Bake cake one hour, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool on cake rack 10 minutes. Then, with spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Invert serving plate onto pan; then, with one hand under pan and other on top of plate, turn both until cake rests, with fruit side up, on serving plate. Remove pan. If fruit sticks to pan, lift off with a spatula and return to its place on cake.
Serve cake warm; top with cream, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Mom remembers this from a very long time ago. All the boys mentioned it, I think, and James remembers it as the only cake he ever really liked as a kid (the Steins are pretty much a pie family). I remember from our dating years, and from early in our marriage, that it was made (and doubled) when there was a crowd visiting, just for a little something special.
We’re fairly certain this was the recipe she used for this cake, since it has messy pages in her copy of the cookbook. She helped me to put this recipe together when she was visiting. It made one small pan, just right for our little family group to eat in a few days.
What do you serve as a little something special?