I don’t think I have ever put pineapple in a cake. I have eaten pineapple upside-down cake a couple of times, but long ago. This cake is a triumph, made when the pineapple in the fruit bowl was smelling over-ripe and we didn’t have enough time to eat it. So it seemed obvious to put the fruit into a cake, using a Nigel Slater recipe. 150g butter
A whole pineapple
3 large eggs [or 4 of Pablo’s]
75g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
50g shelled walnuts or almonds, chopped roughly Set the oven at 180°C. Grease and line a square 20cm cake tin, about 6cm deep, with parchment paper. To prepare the pineapple, take a large sharp knife and cut off the top and bottom. Sit the pineapple on its end on the cutting board, and from the top take off a slice of skin, curving the knife at the bottom. Don’t go too deep as you don’t want to lose flesh. Once you have gone around the fruit, turn it upside down and take off any remaining bits of skin, and also nick out the remaining bits of stalk one at a time with the tip of your knife. The centre of a pineapple is tough, so cut thick slices from the core and throw the core away. Then chop the remaining slices into chunks.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, I always mix my cakes by hand as it seems easier. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat gently, then add bit by bit to the butter mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, stirring to mix, fold them gently into the butter mixture. Fold in the ground almonds, then the nuts.
Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, give the tin a firm tap on the counter to help the mixture settle and get rid of air bubbles. Place the pieces of pineapple evenly into the cake mixture, they will sink during cooking so this is not an artistic process. Bake for 40-45 minutes, test with a skewer, if the skewer comes out clean the cake is done.
Remove the cake from the oven and set the tin on a cooling rack. Once the cake is cold, remove from the tin and peel off the paper. As it contains fruit, this cake is best kept in the fridge in a plastic box. 5 to remember
fragrante – fragrant
una piña – a pineapple
el corazón – the core
un rabillo – a stalk [of fruit]
la punta del cuchillo – the tip of the knife
‘The Kitchen Diaries’ by Nigel Slater