There are two reasons I keep a cast iron skillet; for cooking corn bread or pineapple upside-down cake. Both can be cooked in pans, round, square, or rectangular, and a good product will result, but something will be missing from the taste (I have Arkansas roots).
1 9-inch diameter cast iron skillet
¼ cup butter (margarine might work)
1 cup brown sugar — don’t skimp
1 can (15¼ ounce or whatever it is these days) sliced pineapple — undrained
½ cup plain sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour would work)
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 maraschino cherries (one per slice of pineapple)
3 eggs, separated — let them set on the counter to get to room temperature
One picture of sunrise [optional] …
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Melt (do not fry) the butter in the 9-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the skillet. Arrange enough pineapple slices (dry just a little) to cover the bottom of the pan. Put one maraschino cherry in each pineapple slice. Set to one side.
Beat egg yolks (medium speed) until thick and sort of lemon-yellow colored. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat well. Thoroughly mix the flour and baking powder (hint: do this before you start beating the egg yolks). Add the dry mix to the egg yolks–stir in the pineapple juice as you continue to mix (low speed). Beat the egg whites until stiff (has little waves and peaks). Fold the egg whites into the batter. Spoon batter evenly over pineapple slices.
Bake at 350ºF for 45ish minutes. I start doing the tooth-pick thing at 40 minutes. Remove cake from oven. Options:
(a) Cool cake in skillet for 30 minutes; turn over onto serving plate–remove skillet.
(b) Immediately turn cake onto serving plate; leave skillet in place to let any drippings drip, then remove skillet.
—–Run gently out there—–