My past experiences with upside down cakes led me to believe that they were dry, lacked any substantial fruit topping or flavor and basically uninteresting. I was so wrong. I just proved myself, and hopefully you, wrong with this recipe. You can cook it in 9-inch cake pan, but it takes longer and there’s an extra pan to clean. So for all the right reasons, use a cast-iron skillet if you have one and give upside downs cakes another try.
Source: Baking Ilustrated
1 small pineapple, peeled, stemmed, quartered and cored. Cut each quarter into thin pieces
4 T. butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups flour
3 T. cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 T. butter, softened but still cool
1 cup plus 2 T. sugar, divided
4 eggs, separated at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350
1. Grease bottom of 10-inch cast iron skillet.
2. Melt butter over medium heat then add brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is foamy and pale, 3-5 minutes
3. Arrange ALL fruit slices in concentric circles over the sugar mixture. Set aside.
4. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
5. Cream butter, gradually adding 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl. Continue until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla
6. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk in 3 or 4 batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, until the batter is just smooth.
7. Beat the egg whites in bowl, beat to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 2 T. of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the batter, combine and then add remaining egg whites. Gently pour batter evenly into cast iron skillet. Spread evenly and be careful not to dislodge the fruit.
8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown. Slide paring knife around edge of the cake to loosen. Rest the cake on a wirerack for 2 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.