Funny story about this recipe…

4 Jan

I almost didn’t try today’s recipe. Ingredients and directions were rather brief and vague. I found it in a cookbook on my shelf with the intriguing name Old Time Tennessee Receipts. Yes, receipts, not recipes. It appears “receipt” predated “recipe.” Both stem from the Latin “recipere,” to receive or take. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a Southern “thing” but research didn’t support that thought! The book is a collection of hand-written recipes (er, receipts) prepared and published by members of the Master’s Workers, and I quote: “one of the leading organizations of ladies within the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville.”

I initially thought it was a cookbook I inherited from my great-aunt. But then I read the inscription on the insider front cover:

To Miriam, my dear X-neighbor, from Rita H. Bryant

December 7, 1949, Chattanooga, Tennessee

My great-aunt’s name was Nellie! Not sure I will ever know how it ended up in my collection!

In any case the recipe worked with a few necessary changes (like how to prepare) and the end result – was as good as it looks!!

Upside Down Cake

2 cups of flour (sifted)

2 teaspoons baking powder (level)

2 eggs

½ cup butter (scant)

½ cup sugar

About ½ cup pineapple juice

Melt one tablespoon butter in skillet and sprinkle on one cup brown sugar. Place rings of pineapple in this and pour over the cake batter. Place in moderate oven (about 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Not much to go on, huh? What’s not included in the recipe – but included in the directions:

Additional ingredients: 1 tablespoon butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 20-ounce can pineapple slices in 100% pineapple juice (juice reserved for batter)

I used, and recommend a cast iron pan (10-inch). If you don’t have one, use a heavy frying pan. Today’s tip: invest in one or two cast iron skillets. They are cheap and amazingly versatile. I use them for everything from burgers to chicken breasts, eggs to Shepherd’s pie!

Follow the first two lines in the recipe using the added ingredients as above. To make batter: combine flour, baking powder, eggs, butter (softened), sugar and pineapple juice (drained from can) in a mixing bowl – use either stand mixer or hand variety – beat 1 to 2 minutes or until ingredients are well combined. Batter will be thick. Drop by spoonfuls over pineapple slices in skillet, spreading to completely cover fruit slices. Yes, bake at 300 degrees but you will need to add a good 10 – 20 minutes to the baking time. Toothpick inserted in the cake’s center should come out clean. Let cake cool to the touch – about 20 minutes. Run a knife around inside of the skillet to loosen edges. Place platter larger than skillet over the top and quickly invert cake onto platter.

See the results!

Note: copies of this cookbook are available on Amazon.