Guest Author - Eileen Brown
Pineapples are enjoyed in about every manner throughout the Caribbean islands, whether they are served fresh or baked into delicious desserts. Pineapples were initially grown in South America and were then cultivated in Central America. Columbus found pineapples growing on Guadeloupe and they are still grown on Puerto Rico, but for the most part, this tropical fruit is imported to the Caribbean islands from Costa Rica and Honduras. Still, sweet and juicy pineapples are a favorite tropical fruit, and it is used widely.
This recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a delicious dessert that calls for the use of tinned pineapple rings packed in fruit juice. It's made with a box of yellow cake mix and creates an easy yet wonderfully light and moist version of this popular dessert.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1 can pineapple slices, packed in juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
10 maraschino cherries
1 package (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the pineapple slices and reserve about 3/4 cup of the pineapple juice.
Place the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. (Cast iron works great for this recipe.) Melt it gently over medium heat. Add the brown sugar to the butter and stir it thoroughly to blend the two ingredients. Cook just until a caramel-type sauce begins to form.
(If you don't have an appropriate skillet, you can melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan and pour the caramel mixture into a round, 12-inch baking dish.)
Remove the skillet from the heat and arrange the pineapple slices over the butter-sugar mixture. Place a maraschino cherry in the center hole of each pineapple slice.
Prepare the cake mixture according to the package instructions, but substitute some of the water with the reserved pineapple juice.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the pineapple slices and cherries.
Bake on a center rack, in a 350 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool it for about 5 minutes.
Run a knife or spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the edges of the cake.
Place a serving dish over the top of the skillet and carefully invert the cake.
Serve the Pineapple Upside Down Cake warm or cold, plain, or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.