Amaretto Pineapple Upside Down Cake, similar to the Tarte Tatin as it is baked and then turned upside down.
It seems that the original Tarte Tatin was born by mistake.
There are multiple accounts on the origins of the Tarte Tatin, but most of them have common denominators: at the end of the ‘800 the Tatin sisters ran their own Hotel in a small town somewhat 200 km from Paris, and it was mostly attended by hunters.
One day the place was full and one of the sisters made an apple pie but forgot the shortcrust pastry. When she realized it she took the apples which already started to caramelize in the oven and added the shortcrust. She then proceeded to turn it upside down before serving it.
Apparently there was a big roar of appreciation by the crowd of hunters, rough but hungry people.
Whether history or legend, it is sure that most of the best and most classic preparation in pastry making were born by mistake.
This tells me two things:
1. A problem shouldn’t be seen just like a problem, but like a chance.
2. In pastry making there is hope even for someone like me 🙂
This amaretto pineapple upside down cake comes from my Grandma’s recipe notebook. She had the Carthusian habit of transcribing all her recipes in these notebooks.
This recipe in particular comes from Carola, the housemaid. She also was a nanny for me when I was over for the school holidays, in the little tuscan town of Borgo Sansepolcro.
More than a helper Carola was part of the family. For breakfast she used to feed me while I was reading Mickey Mouse comics, just cause I was lazy. My mum would have kicked me in the face instead.
Fond, loving, simple person, Carola was also a great cook. When she used to make fresh pasta I used to sneak in the room where she put the tagliatelle to dry and eat some raw.
And now that I bake this cake the house fills with an aroma that brings back memories.
This amaretto pineapple upside down cake is quick and easy to make. Best served with unsweetened whipped cream.
Amaretto Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 120 g flour 4.2 oz
- 150 g sugar 5.3 oz
- 100 g butter at room temperature 3.5 oz
- 2 eggs
- 10 slices of pineapple canned, in their own juice
- 1 sachet of dry yeast roughly 0.5 oz
- 10 amaretto biscuits
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat the grill at 200° C (390° F). Evenly sprinkle 100g (3.5 oz) of sugar in the bottom of the cake pan and heat under the grill for 5 minutes. The sugar has to be slightly caramelized.
- Remove from grill and let it cool. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 150° C (300° F).
- Put the pineapple slices in a pasta drainer for a few minutes then dry them with kitchen paper.
- Crush the amaretto biscuits, in a plastic bag or using a mixer.
- Sift the flour and the yeast together, then put in a bowl and the crushed amaretto biscuits together with salt.
- In another bowl whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar (50g / 1.8oz), until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix.
- Place the pineapple slices in the bottom of the cake pan, on the caramelized sugar. Put one slice in the middle and the rest all around. With a 22 cm (8'') springform pan I used 7 slices totally.
- Pour the dough on top of the slices and distribute evenly with a spatula.
- Cook in the preheated oven at 150° (300° F) for 50 minutes. If the oven has the option, put heat only in the bottom for the first 25', then revert to normal heat for the rest of the cooking time.
- Once ready leave the cake to cool and then remove from pan, turning it upside down on a plate.
- Serve with a little bit of unsweetened semi-whipped cream.