Fruit and nuts top the first-prize cake.
Pineapple prize goes to classic cake
The world of pineapple creativity is boundless, a fact proven Saturday at the Wahiawa Pineapple Festival.
Five chefs put the sweet-sour fruit to work in entrées served in the Chef's Corner tent -- a $15 ticket that bought seven plates of fancy food. Leeward Community College culinary students chipped in with a gau gee appetizer, served with greens and a pineapple vinaigrette. And Leilehua High School students provided a trio of pineapple desserts.
Chef Alan Wong made Pineapple-Braised Short Ribs, Roy Yamaguchi dispatched a team to serve Pineapple-Glazed Lollipop Chicken, Randall Ishizu of the Ihilani Resort and Spa placed a paper-thin slice of sun-dried pine under his Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella.
Fred de Angelo of Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort mixed pineapple with goat cheese as a complement to his Kalua Pork "Nacho," and Elmer Guzman of Poke Stop used it in a slaw with his Buttermilk Fried Calamari Sandwich.
Subtlety ruled here.
Across the way, though, at the festival's baking contest, the flavor of pine was a more dominant presence. A baker's dozen of quite sophisticated projects offered pineapple in cake, pies and quick breads.
For all the innovation of the day, it was a classic -- Amanda Allison's pineapple upside-down cake -- that won the grand prize: A trip for two to Lanai's Koele Lodge.
Butter Rum Pineapple Upside Down Cake
6 pineapple rings, fresh or canned (reserve juice)
1/2 cup spiced rum (such as Captain Morgan's)
1/4 pound butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
6 maraschino cherry halves (optional)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Marinate pineapple in rum overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and brown sugar over low heat in large iron skillet (at least 12 inches) or other heavy, oven-proof pan. Arrange pineapple in bottom of pan in single layer. Simmer slowly in melted butter and sugar while making batter.
Mix sugar, egg yolks and pineapple juice in large bowl (instead of pineapple juice, may use rum left from soaking pineapple).
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat egg whites until peaks form.
Quickly mix flour mixture into sugar mixture until well-blended. Fold in egg whites.
Place 1 cherry half inside each pineapple ring. Scatter chopped nuts over rings, then gently spoon batter over all.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cook until just warm to touch and invert over large plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional information unavailable.