Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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I am not a stuff person by any means. I have no problem letting things go, I don’t worry when dishes break or clothes get stained, but I do have a prized cookbook that I would be very sad to see anything happen to - The Last Course by Claudia Fleming. Every time I think I have a new and original idea, it turns out Claudia Fleming already had it – pre 2001. It’s truly a shame that the book is out of print, copies sell for hundreds of dollars on Amazon and ebay. Every pastry chef  I know treasures their copy. The Last Course is also the book that made me fall in love with pineapple of all things. Caramelized with pink peppercorns, bay and vanilla and served with vanilla ice cream – pineapple is a magical thing.

I have been dreaming of a pineapple upside down cake with those amazing flavors and getting Erin McDowell’s Fearless Baker was just the inspiration I needed to actually do it. I riffed on her upside down cake recipe a bit here, ok I riffed a lot.  Her version includes graham flour (yum!) and is topped with tomato jam (hello!), but I did take her general proportions and the addition of crème fraiche in the batter (yum again!). I don’t think she will mind.


Pineapple Upside down Cake

Very loosely adapted from Fearless Baker By Erin McDowell

Makes one 9-inch cake

Topping

4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (110g) light brown sugar

2 tablespoons rum

1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1 bay leaf

2 cups sliced pineapple (fresh or canned – you do you)

pinch salt

Cake

1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (110g) light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/3 cups (320g) crème fraîche

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 350° F.

Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a 10-inch (or deep 9-inch) cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined. Add the rum, peppercorns, vanilla bean, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the pineapple and cook for a few minutes turning the pineapple over in the sauce occasionally until the pineapple begins to soften and release its juices. Off of the heat, use a slotted spoon to remove the pineapple from the pan into a separate bowl or plate, then carefully remove the pink peppercorns from the sauce – I know this is fussy, but you gotta do it unless you want to pick peppercorns out of your teeth. Add the pineapple back to the pan in an even layer - if you have extra pineapple (lucky) just eat it :) Set the pan on a baking sheet, and brush the sides of the pan with a bit of butter. 

To make the cake, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and crème fraiche and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Fold the flour into the wet ingredients then pour the batter over the fruit and spread into an even layer.

Bake the cake on the baking sheet until a toothpick inserted inserted into the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a spatula around the outside of the cake and invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely and remove the bay leaf and vanilla bean pod before slicing and serving. 

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A Spring Potluck with Whole Foods Market and Instacart

spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
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spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
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Rhubarb and Rye Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co

Every Spring when the weather finally warms up enough that the cherry trees start to blossom it seems like everyone in Brooklyn emerges from hibernation. We all trade our winter jackets and scarves for lighter gear and sunglasses and our neighborhoods finally feel bustling and busy again. Warm weather also makes it much easier to convince friends to leave their cozy apartments to hang out. I'm a big fan of the casual weeknight potluck and while potlucks are just about the easiest way to entertain, there's a little trick I use to make it even easier on me - grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market.

It is such a time saver whether I am hosting a little get together or I am in the middle of a shoot and realize that I need another bunch of parsley or a pound of butter or whatever. I work by myself most of the time so in the middle of a busy workday it super convenient to hop on my phone and order whatever I need without leaving the kitchen and interrupting my workflow. It also makes entertaining on a weeknight totally doable because while I work I can also order up the ingredients for perfect cheese plate and dessert, and it is delivered straight to my door - my pals can bring the rest :) 

The cake pictured here is one of my very favorite Spring recipes from my book - a Rhubarb and Rye Upside Down Cake. It is just a bit wholesome from the rye flour and topped with a pound of perfectly pink and tart rhubarb. It's perfect with a little something bubbly to round out a Spring meal.

If you are curious to try Whole Foods Market delivery powered by Instacart, I am so glad to be able to give you guys a deal - Follow the link above and use the code wfmapt2bbakingco for free delivery and $10 off your first order


Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 5/19/2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time or while supplies last. Credit valid only for first-time Whole Foods Market orders made through Instacart.com or delivery.wholefoodsmarket.com of $35 or more. See additional terms: http://bit.ly/deliveryterms


Rhubarb and Rye Upside-Down Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

An upside-down cake is a great way to highlight just about any fruit, but this springy version is especially nice due to rhubarb’s vibrant pink hue and tart flavor. The cake batter is light, fluffy, and speckled with just enough rye flour to make it interesting. As the cake bakes, the tart rhubarb juices caramelize into a delicious sauce that soaks into the cake. Serve slices of cake warm, with a bit of whipped cream or ice cream on the side for a perfect spring treat.

Rhubarb Topping

1 pound (450g) rhubarb, leaves removed, cut into 2-inch (5cm) lengths

1 vanilla bean

3⁄4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Pinch salt

Cake

1 cup (125g) all purpose flour

1 cup (130g) rye flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (355ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

To Serve

Lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375F (190C/Gas Mark 5). Butter a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, 3 inches tall, line it with parchment paper, and butter that too. Dust the pan and paper with flour.

To make the rhubarb topping: Use the tip of a knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; reserve the pod for another use. Combine the sugar, butter, vanilla seeds, lemon zest, and salt in a skillet and set over medium low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and butter begin to melt together, then add the rhubarb. Cook the rhubarb, turning it occasionally in the pan, until it is juicy, tender, and slightly caramelized but not falling apart, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the rhubarb and its juices into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.

To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the all purpose and rye flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together at medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three additions and mix until just combined. Carefully pour the batter over the rhubarb in the pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles. If using a springform pan, set it on a baking sheet to catch any potential leakage.

Bake the cake until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack

for 15 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving platter. Remove the parchment paper and reposition any rhubarb that has stuck to the paper. Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like. This cake is best served the day that it’s made.

a spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co

This post was created in partnership with Whole Foods Market powered by Instacart. Thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.