WCC No. 17 - Cornmeal?
|My cornmeal experiences have not been very creative or frequent.. I've made a honey cornbread from scratch and I think that's about it. Oh yeah! Polenta.. I made polenta from scratch but wasn't thrilled with the recipe. Oh wait! One more - a most delicious "hamcake" pancake type thing made with cornmeal & ham and then you pour a maple syrup and pineapple mixture over them.. heavenly. Other than that - cornmeal has basically been ingested from corn bread or corn muffins made from those lil boxes of Jif cornmeal mix. I KNOW! How pathetic, eh?|
But the good news is from the couple of lame experiments with cornmeal, I had plenty on hand for this month's WCC challenge! I just needed a recipe.. day after day passed.. and then week after week.. until I thought that I just wasn't going to participate this month, which made me sad because I love participating in the WCC and I love my sweet friend, Sara. So what the hell was I going to do??
This past Monday, I believe it was, Hubbs and I were vegged out in the living room watching Emeril's show. Something we rarely do.. I think we overdid Emeril way back when and now we just aren't into his show or his cooking anymore. Go figger. But anyhoo.. the show was based on recipes from FoodTV's cookery book Favorites, which I happen to own thanks to a friend giving it to me this past Xmas. Here's where I admit, I've barely opened the damn book up. But the recipes that Emeril, Mario Batali and Alton Brown made were pretty enticing. Especially AB's - Pineapple Upside Down CORN cake!! I knew I had just found my WCC recipe submission. :D
AND get this.. I'm actually participating in this month's WCC with a recipe from..
Wait for it..
A COOKBOOK! How do you like them apples?? teee!
AB's cake looked down right delish on the show and I am not a Pineapple Upside Down cake lover. Hell, I'm not even a liker. I have squicky memories of them, from my childhood, being way too sweet. And there's no chocolate involved. WTF? But the idea of the corncake combined with the pineapple and brown sugar AND a half-cup of butter was just too good to pass up. Plus it gave me an opportunity to cook with my cast iron skillet, which I don't think I've used since this.
Okay so here's the deal - it was very good.. even though I cooked mine too long, making it slightly dry. But I still really loved it and will make this again. I liked the texture of the cornmeal cake and the slightly burnt caramel and pineapple topping was even better. I didn't burn it on accident, but I cooked it a lil longer than called for because I like the slightly burnt taste of caramel made with brown sugar and butter. I'm kooky, this I know. Next time though, I will not go by the instructions and bake this cake for 35-45 minutes. I will take it out at 25-30 minutes and I think I'll double the topping part of the recipe and add mandarin oranges. I think a lil toasted coconut in the batter would be quite delish as well. I also did not have pineapple rings and just couldn't muster the energy to run up the street to the store for 1 can of them when I had a can of pineapple chunks in my over stocked pantry. I blew off the marachino cherries cuz they squick me unless they've been soaked in 151 proof rum. *evil gril* and I blew off the pecans because I can't have 'em. Other that those 3 things, I followed his recipe.
Give this a try.. it's different from your "normal" Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which I don't think is a bad thing. =)
Alton Brown's Pineapple Upside Down Corn Cake
Adapted from Food TV's Favorites cookery book.
Recipe below is written exactly as in the book.
Yields one 10 inch cake.
3/4 c. whole milk
1 c. coarse-ground cornmeal
4 oz. (8 TBS.) unsalted butter
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
6 slices canned pineapple in heavy syrup
6 maraschino cherries
1/3 c. chopped pecans, toasted
3 TBS. syrup from canned pineapple
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 whole eggs
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
Preheat oven to 350º F. In a microwave-safe dish, bring the milk to a boil. Remove the milk from the microwave and add the cornmeal. Stir and let soak at room temperature for 30 minutes. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully place 1 slice of pineapple in the center of the pan. Place the other 5 slices around the center slice in a circle. Place the cherries in the center of the pineapple slices and sprinkle the nuts evenly over the fruit. Drizzle the reserved 3 TBS. of pineapple syrup over top.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl and whist to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the canola oil and whisk. Add the cornmeal and milk mixture and whisk to combine. Add this to the flour and stir just until combined. Pour the batter over the fruit in the skillet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes in the skillet. Set a platter on top of the skillet and carefully invert the cake.
As always - thanks Sara!! I look forward to what promises to be a very interesting round-up. =)