In true, Southern fashion, it's a good story, but cast iron was not actually born in the South.
But the thing is, cast iron is not a Southern invention.
We know it well: the glistening rings of canned pineapple, the candy-red maraschino cherries, all placed like a mosaic pattern. Upside-down cake has been a ubiquitous presence at parties and potlucks since the middle of the last century, and the staying power of this charmingly retro dessert comes as no real surprise: a simple, sweet recipe rooted in little more than butter, brown sugar, and tropical fruit.
Personally, I like the maraschino cherries. My photo of Carlos’ recipe includes the damn cherries.
Note to Carlos: “How can you make this without those nasty maraschino cherries, man?”
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
(Recipe fits in 10” Cast Iron Skillet)
Two 8-ounce cans sliced or crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) Butter
3/4cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising cake flour)
1-1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4cup butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup half and half
1 large egg room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pre heat oven to 350°
Drain pineapple, save pineapple juice
In 10” Cast Iron Skillet, melt butter enough to cover bottom of pan (approx 3 Tablespoons)
Add brown sugar to cover bottom of pan. Add drained pineapple to cover brown sugar
Sift together flour, baking powder. and salt
Mix shortening, 3/4 cup sugar, 5 tablespoons of pineapple juice, half and half, 1 egg, vanilla
Beat in the flour mixture, pour over pineapple
Bake approx 35-40 min
Allow to cool
With a plate on top of skillet, flip cake onto plate for serving