Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sisters taught me: P.U.S.D. cake

The clock strikes at 1 a.m. and it happens again. Cravings for something delish from home awaken in my pit of a stomach; obviously she refuses to change time zones. The pineapple on top of my fridge is finally ripe and begging me to use it. The first thing that comes to mind is the wonderful pineapple upside down cake I ate every Saturday at the St. Joseph of Cluny residence. I pause to thank the Sisters of this house for the unconditional love, support and teaching throughout my adolescent and adult life and this cake that is forever seared in the memory of my food sac stomach.

P.U.S.D cake is traditionally made with a base/cover of caramelized tinned pineapple, maraschino cherries and shredded coconut but as you know at Watermelon and Cheese we have to adapt a lot...but hey, we never lose the here goes.

Pineapple -Where Have You Been- Upside Down Cake

Make 2 8 inch cakes

1 medium sized pineapple, sliced
3/4 cup demerara brown sugar
3/4 cup butter

Top: Adapted from the 'Real taste of Jamaica' 1-2-3-4 plain cake recipe
3 cups sifted flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (made by boiling the skin. if using actual pineapple juice, decrease white sugar by 1/2 cup)
Silvers of lemon peel

1. Cream butter and sugar together using a electric mixer (Mommy please forgive my laziness) for 2 minutes or until fluffy.  In a small bowl, beat eggs with lemon peel. In a total of four additions, mix eggs with butter and sugar mixture. Result should be creamy. Remember to remove the lemon peel.

2. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add dry mix and pineapple juice to the butter and sugar mix in additions of 4 and 3 respectively, beginning and ending with the dry mix.

3. To make the caramel, first melt butter in pan. Using low heat, add brown sugar and constantly stir for no more than 4 minutes. In warmer climates, this can be done before making the batter. Place caramel at the bottom of the baking dish and cover decoratively with pineapple slices. If you happen to use diced pineapples, the taste is not affected, however it may appear a bit mushy as you will see below.

4. Add batter to the pan and pop into the oven for about 40 mins or till an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

5. If you are patient enough, allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Slice and distribute. Note to self and others: Never walk out of the room before saving yourself a slice because a slice is all you will get.
Top: Cake using diced pineapples
Bottom: The slice I almost never had