Happy birthday Vern! This is the first of two cakes I have to make in short order for various birthdays. Luckily it also coincides with my next Food In Fiction novel.
One for the Money is the first in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie lives in Trenton, NJ and is probably the worst bounty hunter ever. Not her fault really, unemployment and financial ruin forced her hand and it was the only job she could find.
Having held a salaried position with E.E. Martin made me as appealing as a leper. E. E. Martin had skimped on the palm greasing this winter and as a result its mob affiliations had been made know…..I was registered with every search firm in the greater Trenton area and I religiously read the want ads. I wasn’t being all that choosy, drawing the line at telephone soliciting and kennel attendant…
Food is very important in the Burg where Stephanie grew up. And her mother was not above using food as a bribe when she fixed Stephanie up on a blind date:
“Pineapple upside-down cake…you’ll miss dessert if you leave now.” My mother didn’t mind playing dirty if she thought the cause worthy. She knew she had me locked in with the pineapple cake. A Plum would suffer a lot of abuse for a good dessert.
The Stephanie Plum series is one of my favorite summer reads. There are 16 books in the series so far, but the first 9 are the best. If you’re looking for a beach read, I recommend these.
Now here’s that cake that would make Stephanie suffer through a hopeless blind date, whose highlight was Stephanie’s grandmother shooting the roast chicken with a .38 special.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- 8 oz can sliced pineapple, in pineapple juice
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1-1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
8×8 glass baking dish and mixing bowl
Drain pineapple, reserve juice. Melt 3 tbsp of butter and to baking dish with brown sugar and 1 tbsp of reserved pineapple juice. Mix well. Arrange pineapple slices over sugar and butter mixture. In bowl, cream remaining butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to creamed mixture. Add water to remaining pineapple juice to make 1/2 cup and add to batter, mixing well and then pour over pineapple slices. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then invert on a plate.