This story begins in Eunice, Louisiana in a small farmhouse decorated with nothing but a red swing gently swaying on the front porch. The smell of sweet pineapples and caramel cooking away in a skillet fills the July air. My great grandmother Duplechain served pineapple upside down cake to us on Paw-Paw’s birthday. The added warmth of the kitchen would be endured for a slice of the sweet, fluffy cake. Year after year, my grannie would make this cake for Paw-Paw every July. Wherever I eat this cake I am still brought back to the little red swing that matched the cherries in the center of my pineapple upside cake, which also matched the red snow boots that I had on in July.
Happy birthday, Paw-Paw!
Recipe: Adapted from Virginia Willis’s Basic to Brilliant, Ya’ll
1 ½ cans of pineapple slices (used fresh if in season)
1 cup of cake flour
¾ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon for baking soda
1 ¼ cups of sugar
1 ½ sticks of butter, room temperature
½ cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon of good vanilla extract
½ cup of sour cream
Preheat the oven to 3500
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a small bowl.
Heat the sugar and ½ stick of butter together in a cast-iron skillet on medium-low temperature until dissolved. Add the brown sugar and cook just until bubbly and it comes together. Place the pineapple rings in the skillet, starting in the center and working your way out toward the edges. Make sure that the rings go up at least halfway up the skillet.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the remaining stick of butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as you go. Add the sour cream to the mixture. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and pour the batter into the skillet.
Place the skillet onto the cookie sheet and bake until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool until the sides of the cake starts coming off of the pan and invert onto another dish.