While holiday-ing in Switzerland just under a month ago, my dad definitely went a little overboard with the canned pineapple. Originally meant for the Christmas ham. But quickly meant to point out how little space we now had left in the cupboards...
And so this Torta Rovesciata, or in English, Upsidedown Cake, was revisited. When it's cold and you're desperately looking for any reason to stay in bed... this will get you out (just long enough for you to snag yourself a slice and hop right back in... but that didn't come from me). More importantly, the solution for the mounds of canned fruit crammed in the back of your store cupboard; accumulated over the years of Christmas dinners, French toast topping supplies and pantry stocking.
nb. Here I actually made it with wholegrain spelt flour, milled fresh on the farm, carried home with care. This lent it self well for a denser, more biscuit-y cake; excellent on a breakfast menu for example. But notably not as soft nor fluffy as a typical all-purpose-flour cake. While in Italy, we used regular Spelt flour which, in honesty, would probably be my recommendation.
Upsidedown Excess-Canned Fruit Cake
Adapted from Giallo Zafferano. Makes 1x 20cm cake.
Canned Pineapple – enough to cover the bottom of your tin (about 300g in my case) – any leftover (up to 200g more) can be cubed and tossed into the cake batter.
1 handful of Fresh Cranberries
150g Unsalted Butter
100g White/Brown Caster Sugar
16g/1 packet Vanilla Sugar
250g Spelt flour
8g Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
100g Semi-Skimmed Milk
For the Caramel:
Pineapple Juice reduced to 80ml
110g White Caster Sugar
First, add your canned pineapple liquid into a small saucepan, set on medium-high, and allow to simmer and reduce, while you make the batter.
Preheat your oven to 180*C/160*C Fan/350F.
Line your baking tin with parchment paper.
Blend together the softened/room temp. butter and both sugars, until the batter has paled and frothed.
One by one, add the eggs to the batter, whisking well so that the contents does not lose its air.
In thirds, sieve the dry ingredients into the batter: flour, baking powder, salt, until fully incorporated.
Then slowly drizzle the milk into the mixture while mixing. Note, it will be a fairly dense batter.
Now to make the caramel: once your liquid has reduced to about 80ml, turn the heat down to low, add in the sugar, allow to melt and turn a gorgeous, deep, amber colour. Once said colour is reached, immediately add in the butter and whisk until smooth.
Poor the caramel into your prepared/lined tin.
Moving quickly, arrange your pineapple chunks/rings in an even – or abstract – pattern. Fill in the gaps with your fresh cranberries.
At this point, cube/roughly chop any remaining pineapple and toss into the batter- NOT THE BIN - stirring quickly to disperse evenly, before pouring over the pineapple in your tin. Gently, using a spatula, evenly spread the batter, and place in the hot oven for 35-45 minutes – until a skewer comes out clean/with barely a cake crumb on it.
Once cooked, remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, gently run a knife around the edges, and prepare to flip. Place your serving plate on top of the cake, and using oven mitts/towels, invert your cake tin so that the tin is on top, and plate on the bottom. Allow to sit like so, covered, for 1 minute or so. When ready, carefully lift up the tin. Then slowly slowly, remove the parchment paper.
You could wait for it to cool completely before serving.
I've never been good at that.
With any other canned fruit you happen to have lying around: fruit cocktail, pears, peaches.
For breakfast with yoghurt, or dessert with custard and or ice cream.
With regular all purpose white flour instead of spelt.
Any abundance of fresh, seasonal fruit, in place of the canned contents.
Substituting the canned fruit syrup for water (should you be using fresh fruit instead).