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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 164

A fluffy pineapple cake baked upside-down like a Tarte Tatin, with lovely buttery caramel on top. It can also be made with other fruit, such as pears, peaches or apples.

This recipe is another one of my surprising finds in Linda’s book. It is very easy to make with ingredients that are always in my fridge or store cupboard. Yet it tastes fantastic and looks so impressive!

I tried a gluten-free version, using 115g plain gluten-free flour (from Doves Farm) and 1 tsp. baking powder. The result was a soft and fluffy batter- just perfect!

I also reduced the amount of butter to 80g (and I think that in this recipe, it has to be butter and not margarine to give the cake this lovely buttery caramel flavour), and only used 80g of brown sugar for the caramel and 60g caster sugar for the batter. As the batter was quite dry, I also added 3 tbsp milk.

In my first attempt, I used a ceramic pie dish for this cake but found out that the dish does not get hot enough at the bottom to produce the caramel and to bake the dough sufficiently in the baking time. I think the pie dish’s bottom was too thick to let the heat come through well.
As I loved the cake so much, I turned to the internet (no shops open due to the corona restricitions) and found a heavy baking tin- perfect for making upside-down cake.

I also used tinned pears (as suggested by Linda) but could taste the “tin taste” in the cake. For this recipe, you should definitely use fresh fruit- the extra trouble in slicing and peeling the fruit will be well worth in the end.
A cake I will certainly make again!

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