ORIGINAL DESSERTS: PINEAPPLE INSIDE-OUT CAKE

ORIGINAL DESSERTS: PINEAPPLE INSIDE-OUT CAKE Friday, April 15, 2011

Sometime during the 1920s, the men who ran the fruit company we now know as Dole, proposed a recipe contest to remind consumers about the canned pineapple they’d been marketing to them since the earliest days of the 20th century. And these men found something unusual. Of all the recipes they received, in an almost inexplicable wave of synchronicity, thousands detailed what we now know as one very famous dessert: the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

The cake itself wasn’t sensational. What was, was the way the cake was topped: concentric circles of sliced ringlets of pineapple, dotted, where they had been hollowed out, with cherries. And by the 1950s, every housewife in the United States worth her weight in sugar knew how to make one.

Skip ahead about 60 years, past women’s suffrage, female CEOs and astronauts (still waiting on our fist female POTUS), and meet Sally our pastry chef. Inspired by a family recipe authored by her mother-in-law, Sally reaches into the past and presents us a new take on an old classic: The Original’s Pineapple Inside-Out Cake.

To clarify, ours is inside-out rather than upside-down because the pineapple one normally finds atop the cake is baked into it (Sally says it’s probably more accurate to even call it an “outside-in” cake). And, just as is Sally’s mother-in-law’s, ours is a chiffon cake, which means that the egg whites we hand-whip into the batter make the cake a taste a little lighter and stand a little taller when we bake it.

Of course, every cake needs a topping. Ours gets a trio: one dehydrated pineapple ring rolled in turbinado sugar; one dome of vanilla bean mousse—similar to, but not quite like—ice cream; and a few tart housemade maraschino cherries, which we’ve soaked for five days in Amaretto before curing in a  cherry simple syrup.

So come on in and and taste what happens when thousands of people at the same time have the same great idea.