Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pineappple growing under!

I have this strange childhood memory of us trying to grow a pineapple in our backyard once... Before you jump to any conclusions about me, let me tell you that by “us” I mean my family. Yup, add weird to dysfunctional and cantankerous. That’s us.

So... I have this memory of my grandfather checking a tuft of pineapple leaves planted in the ground near our well every day, and trying to figure out if there is a fruit growing below! I don’t know if that is really how this fruit grows, but from what I remember, this was the process:

1.       We bought a just-ripe whole pineapple with leaves attached on top.
2.       Now cut and eat up the pineapple, but leave the foliage attached to a bit of the core
3.       And lastly, plant the core with leaves attached.
4.       Now keep checking everyday...

Ok, these steps might be completely useless. Because I don’t remember the pineapple ever growing! I have no recollection of what happened to the plant eventually. I just remember checking on it almost every day for about a year and not seeing any exciting fruit popping out from underneath :(

But here is something that definitely has sweet-sour, caramel-y pineapple growing under it! (Ok, fine.. take away the magic. Not exactly growing then... just yummy pineapple under it then.) And takes wayyyy lesser time too.



Butter – ½ cup
Brown sugar – ¾th cup
Fresh pineapple – peeled and sliced into circles
Candied cherries - 10
Flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Eggs – 3
Sugar – 1 cup (Regular white sugar)
Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Milk – ¼th cup

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Overturn the ½ cup butter into a 9-inch round baking pan and place it in the oven to melt. Take out the pan after a few minutes and sprinkle all the brown sugar into it. Mix it well and make sure the butter-sugar mixture is layered evenly at the bottom of the pan. Now arrange the round pineapple slices in the pan in a single layer trying to pack in all the corners as well as you can. Try not to overlap them. Insert the candied cherries into the centre of all the pineapple circles.

Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside. Beat together the regular sugar, eggs and the vanilla extract till creamy. Slowly fold in the flour. Add the milk and stir. Do not over mix, but make sure there aren’t too many lumps either.

(Many recipes online have asked you to separate the eggs and beat the whites and yolks separately. But I didn’t do that. Maybe that’s why my cake didn’t rise too much. But then I’m always lazy when it comes to stuff like that and frankly, the cake seemed just fine to me.)


Now pour this mixture evenly into the cake pan that’s layered with the pineapples. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40min. Check with a toothpick for done-ness. It should be golden brown on top and the sugar-butter caramel will have bubbled and come up on the sides. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, run a knife along the edges and invert quickly onto a cake stand or a large plate. Slice and serve!

P.S. – If you are using candied pineapple slices, then you can reserve the liquid and use that in the cake mixture instead of the milk.