* It has the "has the whole world gone mad?" vibe: A cake that you bake upside down and serve right-side-up ? HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE MAD?!
* I worked in a bakery at Safeway. I didn't actually do any baking; I washed dishes, swept floors, sliced bread, and stole fitful moments alone in the freezer with boxed chocolate chip cookie dough. One of the few good looking things that came out of the bakery was the pineapple upside-down cake. I was intrigued by the moment of turnover-revalation, and made every effort to be there when it happened; the gooey pan weeping glistening sugary tears onto the cored pineapples and browned cake below. As I boxed them, my face would alight with their radiant beauty, maraschino cherries delightfully centered in the golden fruit. Those sweet cakes, how they made the time in that bakery pass, how oblivious I became to the shouting, the bugs, the occasional dismemberment.. even the tower of dishes seemed to sway gracefully over the sink; even the sweaty floors seemed to soften like a field of alfalfa under the bleach of my mop. Later, when I'd walk home in the hot darkness, the sounds of crickets and cicadas were like a faraway crooning, the sound of pineapples baking in brown sugar.
Pour off 2/3 of a cup of liquid from the can of pineapple slices into a bowl or measuring cup.
Melt the butter in a pan. Since we had a pyrex baking pan, I put the butter in the pan and the pan in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the pineapple liquid from the can. Coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
Next, add an appropriate amount of pineapple slices. Five fit into my pan.
Next, add the maraschino cherries. Don't they look perky?
Now, set that pan aside.
Take the flour, baking power, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and put them in a bowl & combine them.
Next, put your shortening into the mixer and beat it a bit. 30 seconds, 45 seconds, who's counting. Add the sugar. Beat 'till combined. Next, add egg (after cracking it) and vanilla (after sniffing it) and beat for about a minute. Then, alternate between adding the dry flour/baking powder/salt mixture and the cup of pineapple liquid. I was advised/admonished to stop the mixer to add the dry ingredients (taking care to scrape down the bowl) to add the liquid while the mixer was on.
Finally, when all is mixed (don't let it mix too long or the flour will toughen up and you'll wind up making a pineapple-upside-down-bagel-cake), pour/spatula the mixture into the cake pan and spread it evenly.
Bake this fine thing in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
After it's done, take it out! Don't let any strangers near it!
Let it rest for 5 minutes, then flip it over and BEHOLD! Scrape any gooey stuff from the pan onto the cake. I scraped along the side of the pan with a butterknife to help ensure the cake was separated from the pan -prior- to flipping it over.
Optionally serve with ice cream / rice dream.
Eat, enjoy, then nap.