Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pineapple Lemon Cake

A recent issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine featured a recipe for pineapple buckle. What really got me interested was the classic yellow cake batter, called "can-do cake batter". The basic batter can be modified and transformed into elegant layer cakes, muffins, cupcakes, loaf cakes, or the pineapple buckle you see here. I wouldn't really call it a buckle, since I always think of an old-fashioned dessert with berries and a much more rustic, crumpled, or "buckled" appearance. This recipe uses cake flour and pineapple, which definitely makes for a much more delicate and sophisticated presentation.
The recipe below makes just about enough cake batter to fill a 2-quart baking dish. I used a ceramic tart pan, but any casserole or deep pie dish will work. Double the recipe and you'll have enough batter for two 9-inch cake pans, twenty-four muffins, or four 2 x 6 inch miniature loaf pans. The original recipe calls for lime zest and lime juice, which I replaced with lemon zest and lemon juice.

Ingredients for Basic Yellow Cake Batter
1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, a room temperature
1/2 cup and 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, a room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cups buttermilk

Ingredients for Pineapple Lemon Cake
1 recipe basic yellow cake batter
unsalted butter for baking dish
1 cup diced pineapple
4-6 thin pineapple rings for top
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
confectioner's sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl with a electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high for about 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Beat in vanilla.
In a separate bowl , whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
With mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to creamed butter and beat to combine. Beat in buttermilk alternating with remaining flour in two more additions,ending with flour.
Stir lemon zest, lemon juice, and diced pineapple into batter.
Spread batter into prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly arrange pineapple rings on top. Bake for about 25 minutes more or until golden brown.
Let cool in dish for 20 minutes before serving.
Dust with confectioners' sugar.

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