sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (about 4 or 5 slices)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
14 pecan halves
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
4 fresh cherries, halved and pits removed
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, over medium
heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium high
and cook until the sugar mixture is bubbly, about 2 minutes. Arrange pineapple
slices in the skillet in a pleasing pattern and continue to cook for 2 minutes,
or until the sugar mixture turns an amber color. Turn the pineapple slices over
and remove the pan from the heat. (The mixture will continue to cook even though
the heat is off.) Arrange the pecan halves in the spaces between the rings. Set
aside to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the remaining 1/2 cup butter
and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time,
mixing just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately
in 3 batches, mixing at low speed after each addition until just combined. Stir
in the vanilla and rum.
Spoon the batter evenly over the pineapple slices in the skillet. Bake in the
middle of the oven until golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 35 to 40
Cool the cake in the skillet on a wire rack for 4 minutes only. Run a thin knife
around the edge of the cake and, wearing oven mitts and working quickly, invert
the cake onto a cake plate, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together.
Carefully lift the skillet off cake and replace any fruit stuck to the bottom of
the skillet, if necessary. Arrange the fresh cherry halves, cut side down, into
the top of the cake, in the center of the pineapple rings.
Serve cake warm or at room temperature.