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Time to try a classic: Pineapple upside-down cake

September 30, 2008

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active)

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
9 slices canned pineapple in juice, drained
5 maraschino cherries
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter in an 8-by-8-inch pan and place in the oven to melt. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven. Tip the pan to spread the butter evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Arrange the pineapple rings over the butter, making three rows. Cut each cherry in half and place one half at the center of each pineapple ring, cut side up. Set aside.

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Over a sheet of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift again. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla.

Starting and ending with the flour mixture, blend in the dry ingredient and milk, alternating between the two. After each addition, stir only enough to combine.

Carefully pour the batter into the pineapple-lined pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.

Run a knife around the edges of the pan, then place a serving plate upside down on top of the pan. Invert the cake onto the serving plate. Wait several minutes before removing the pan to allow the syrup to soak into the cake.

Serves 4.

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