Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pineapple-Mango Upside Down Cake

I was all set to make an apple dessert the other day. But apples keep for close to forever in the fridge, whereas the white pineapple and a lone mango in my fruit dish were aging quickly and needed to be put to use soon or end up in the trash.

So I made a Pineapple-Mango Upsidedown Cake instead. As you can see, it's the kind of "cake" that is at its best spooned into a bowl and topped with the creamy dairy product of your choice. My husband ate his from a plate, with a fork, and without the topping, but I think he was missing out. I've tagged this post as both "breakfast" and "dessert" because the result has performed delectably in both functions.

There's no precise recipe for this, as I was in my typical slapdash baking mood, and didn't bother to measure anything. For those who are curious, here's my best guess at what I did:

1) Lavishly buttered a 9x13 baking dish.

2) Cut up approx. 4 cups combined fresh mango and pineapple, in roughly 1" pieces, which was extremely juicy so I set it in a strainer over a bowl to catch the juice. Went off to do something else for about 20 minutes, then put the drained fruit in the baking dish and sprinkled with two handfuls of macadamia nut pieces.

3) Added the reserved juice (1/3 C?) to some light brown sugar mixed with lemon juice and zest (which was loitering in the fridge as an uncooked syrup waiting for me to do something interesting with it; quantity is anyone's guess), and brought it all to a boil in a small saucepan to reduce for a few minutes. Don't ask me how long; I didn't time it. Stirred in about a tablespoon of unsalted butter and set it aside to cool slightly.

4) Cracked three eggs into the bowl of my stand mixer, added a splash of vanilla extract, and whipped on high with the whisk attachment, while drizzling in most of the sugar-juice syrupy stuff (still warm, but not so hot it would cook the eggs on contact). Let Hercules (my mixer) run for a few minutes, and drizzled the remaining syrup (a few TB) over the fruit.

5) When eggs were very light and foamy (though not greatly increased in volume, probably because the fruit syrup had a lot more moisture in it than straight sugar would have), I added about 3/4 C ww pastry flour and tapped in some baking powder straight from the cannister.

6) Ran the machine on medium briefly to mix it all up, then poured the batter over the fruit and baked at 360 for 40 minutes, until a lovely brown on top.

Experienced cooks will recognize this as a very haphazard sponge cake. The result was a very light, not too sweet cake with a delicate fruity aroma/flavor. The fruit was nicely cooked without disintegrating, and the whole thing was not overly juicy or mushy. I'll definitely take this approach again, although next time I might reduce the fruit syrup a bit more before adding to the eggs.

I doubt this would win any cooking awards, but for a slapdash effort it turned out extremely well. We've been enjoying it both as dessert and breakfast, with plain yogurt. It's the kind of dessert that is awesome warm from the oven with vanilla icecream, but that's not the sort of thing I keep in the house.

No comments: