First, you make a pineapple juice flavored caramel which is poured into the ramekins. You place a pineapple slice into each ramekin and put a cherry in the middle. I cheated (twice). I used canned pineapple which is already sliced to the right thickness. Instead of running to the store to pick up canned cherries (even though I would have preferred frozen/thawed cherries), I used what I had in my pantry which is maraschino cherries.
My caramel came up to 302 F. For easy distribution, the caramel is poured into a glass Pyrex cup that's coated with non-stick spray.
The caramel hardened pretty quickly after it was poured into the ramekins. Although I had 8 round ramekins, I wanted to use the 2 heart-shaped ones I had and see how that would look.
In with the pineapple slices and the maraschino cherries. I couldn't help myself and made one smiley face. Isn't it cute? :o)
The batter came together very easily. Rose chose the high-ratio mixing method for this recipe, also called two-step mixing method. You basically mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and leavening. Then you add butter and some of the liquid ingredient, in this case yogurt (but I used sour cream instead), and mix again. The final step is adding the remaining liquid ingredients (egg, yogurt and vanilla) to the batter in two steps. I like pineapple and orange together, so I added orange zest to the batter.
This is the flour, sugar, salt, leavening, orange zest, butter and sour cream. You mix these until moistened and then increase speed until fluffy before adding the remaining liquid ingredients.
Fill each ramekin about half full. Rose also gives us the exact amount of batter to use in each ramekin, so I used my scale to make sure they're all the same weight. This might seem like unnecessary work but if all the cakes are the same weight, they will all bake at the same rate. Also, I'm a scale-geek so I don't mind at all :o)
The ramekins were placed on a large cookie sheet before hitting the oven. The cakes baked in 20 minutes in my convection oven at 340 F. They were golden brown and delicious. As soon as they come out of the oven, they need to be inverted onto a serving plate. So that's what I did. I was a little disappointed by how much caramel remained in the ramekin instead of being top of the pineapple and in the cake. Oh well, it gave me something to nibble on from time to time. It's really good.
Here's the array of individual pineapple upside down cakes. The round ones looked great, so did the heart-shaped ones. The smiley face as obvious as before it went into the oven but still cute :o)
I took my first bite when the cakes were still slightly warm (I don't usually do that - I prefer to
wait but not this time!). There was an immediate fruit explosion in my mouth. Wow! First, the buttery and orange flavor of the cake hits your taste buds. Then the cake's texture hits you: wow, this cake is so soft, moist, and tender but still sturdy enough to hold the pineapple. And then you bite into a juicy piece of caramelized pineapple. It was quite an adventure. Delicious! Although this was my first pineapple upside down cake from scratch, it will certainly not be my last.
Rose also offers an optional pineapple caramel glaze to serve with the cake. I had set aside 1 cup of pineapple juice for it. But when I tasted the cake, I didn't think it needed the glaze so I drank the juice so I wouldn't change my mind :o)
- Hubby had only 1 bite so far and liked it. I LOVED it. My friend, Wafae, came over briefly and tasted it. She too liked it a lot. She especially liked the orange zest addition. One minor piece of constructive criticism she had after looking at the picture in Rose's book: use the apricot glaze to give the cake some extra shine. Point taken, Wafae! :o)
- As I mentioned earlier, I added orange zest to the cake batter. To be exact, I added the zest of 1 navel orange.
- The cakes baked up golden brown in 20 min in my convection oven at 340 F.
- Instead of full-fat yogurt, I used an equal amount of full-fat sour cream.
- Because I didn't have any canned cherries on hand, I used halved maraschino cherries instead.