Monday, February 22, 2010

Fresh Pineapple Crumble Cake

Back when I wrote catering menus, I always created seasonal meals. It just made sense, fresher products and better prices. Years later, I found I was ahead of the pack, since it seemed to be a novel idea - not to eat strawberries at Christmas. Who knew?

March is a good month for tropical fruits and I always think of pineapple. Yes, I am jumping the gun, hoping for an early spring. Six days until March or not, I was making pineapple upside down cake. Until I came upon Pineapple Crumb Cake! With hazelnuts? Come on!

First, I ground about 3/4 of a cup hazelnuts in the food processor to be folded into the cake batter.

An easy crumb topping. Butter, flour and sugar. No nuts, just the way I like it.

When I started this project, I realized I was out of two things. Parchment paper and powdered sugar for dusting. The powdered sugar I could do without. Since the paper would be inside the pan, I used waxed paper instead. The butter keeps it in place making it easier to butter again, then flour. Perfect substitue and less expensive, too.

Batter then pineapple.

More batter, more pineapple and all that streusel topping.

Smells great. Looks great.

Tastes even better. They were begging for one more before-dinner-bite.....


Fresh Pineapple Crumble Cake

adapted from Baking For All Occasions by Flo Braker

6 T. all-purpose flour
6 T. firmly packed light brown sugar
3 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 t. cinnamon

Fresh Pineapple Cake
1 1/2 cups, medium sized fresh pineapple chunks (about 38 chunks)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
Scant 3/4 cup hazelnuts, finely ground to yield about 1 cup
8 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs lightly beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. powdered sugar for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8" round springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper, butter again and then flour.

For the streusel, in a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon with a fork or your finger tips until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

For the cake, set the pineapple chunks on a paper towels to absorb some of the juice.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Add hazelnuts to the flour mixture and toss to incorporate. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy and smooth then slowly add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beat after each addition until just incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. On the lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface before topping with about half of the pineapple chunks. Press lightly into the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the pineapple and smooth, carefully covering. Top with remaining pineapple and sprinkle with streusel over the top.

Bake until the cake is nicely browned, and a wooden pick inserted in the center, comes out clean. About 45-47 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

When cool, run thin spatula around the inside of the pan, release sides. Carefully turn cake upside down on to remove parchment/wax paper. You may also place a second cooling rack on the top of the cake, invert and remove pan bottom and paper. Place the first cooling rack on the bottom of the cake and invert again. Cake may then be carefully moved to serving plate.

Dust with powdered sugar for serving.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

This looks great! Good for you buying a whole pineapple, I usually buy it pre-peeled and cored. I am lazy.