Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Quintessential Pineapple-Rum Upside-Down Pound Cake

Dark rum is the secret ingredient in this recipe.
For the sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large pineapple, cored, sliced into 1/3-inch slices (about 10) OR 1 large can pineapple slices (10)
1/4 cup Meyer’s dark Jamaican rum
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 large Maraschino cherries, drained well
For the cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. Meyer’s dark Jamaican rum
For the glaze:
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Meyer’s dark rum

Combine butter and brown sugar in a large skillet and heat until bubbly. Add pineapple and caramelize to a deep golden brown, turning once. Remove and set aside. Pour rum and cream into the skillet and cook over low heat 5 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat.

Butter a 10-inch round cake pan (a cheesecake pan with removable sides works well) and line with parchment paper. Set on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks. Arrange pineapple rings to cover bottom of pan. Blot cherries with a paper towel and place them in the center of the pineapple rings. Pour sauce over pineapple and set pan aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add sugar gradually and continue beating for five minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add rum. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until the batter is smooth and blended.

Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees. between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Prepare the glaze shortly before the cake is done so it will be warm.

Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and sugar, stirring. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let simmer until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in rum. Pour into a measuring cup with a spout.

Remove cake from oven when done and poke several holes in the cake with a small wooden skewer. Carefully pour this mixture over the warm cake, allowing it to seep into the holes and drizzle remaining over the top. Let it soak in for a few minutes.

Invert onto a serving platter.

Pineapple upside down cake is traditionally served warm with whipped cream, but this cake is actually better after it has cooled completely.



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