FRESH PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
5 tablespoons of melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
3 cups fresh pineapple cut into 1" cubes (see note)
maraschino cherries cut in half
1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 & 1 /2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup pineapple juice (or milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 cup pecans chopped medium-small
Mix melted butter with brown sugar and spread evenly in prepared 9" round cake pan. Set aside.
Cut pineapple into 1" chunks and blot them dry between several thicknesses of paper towel (press on them a little to extract excess juice).
For the batter, cream the butter and sugar until it is really fluffy. Under-beating the butter at this stage will give you a poor quality cake. When it is nice and fluffy, add the eggs (one at a time) and extracts and beat until its fluffy again.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternately with the pineapple juice (or milk) starting and ending with the flour. Set aside.
Assembly: Nestle the pineapple, pecans and cherry pieces down into the brown sugar mixture in the cake pan (arrange in pretty fashion because this will show). Pour the cake batter over the top and very gently spread it out.
Bake in 350 oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean (my oven took exactly 45 minutes). Remove from oven and sit pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run a thin bladed knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: I cut the pineapple into very small pieces (almost a dice) and arrange the cherries randomly over the cake. If you use this diced pineapple style, it only takes two cups of diced fruit instead of three.
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