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Pineapple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake
Briana Holt, the owner of Tandem Bakery in Portland, Maine, makes a rich, sturdy buttermilk cake with cornmeal for texture and flavor, as well as ricotta cheese to keep the crumb tender and moist. We adapted her winning formula and paired the cake with fresh fruit to update the classic all-American pineapple upside-down cake. To avoid a soggy layer where cake and fruit meet—a common problem with upside-down cakes—we first cook the pineapple to remove excess moisture, and we make sure the fruit is hot when the batter is poured on top so it begins to bake upon contact. To get the timing right, begin mixing the batter after placing the pan with the pineapple in the oven. This gives you 5 to 10 minutes to finish the batter; if it’s ready sooner, it can wait a few minutes. A nonstick cake pan works best because the dark finish speeds the bake time; if your pan is not nonstick, increase the oven temperature to 350°F and give the cake an extra 5 minutes or so to finish baking.
grams (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour
teaspoon kosher salt, divided
01Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-by-2-inch round nonstick cake pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, the baking powder, baking soda and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, buttermilk and ricotta.
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