Because, why not? Why not indulge in classic Americana with a big 'ol slice of tropical fruit? I dare you to question it. Questioning Pineapple Upside Down Cake is like questioning the American Constitution. Can't. Be. Done.
This recipe makes me picture a quaint little housewife at home in small town Kentucky or Iowa in the 1950's and she's just received a lovely, fresh pineapple from her in-laws that took their first trip to Hawaii. She's never seen one in real life; only the sad semblance of pineapple she gets in the can at her grocery store. What a treat! What will she bake? Why, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, of course, and she'll invite all the neighborhood ladies over for tea that afternoon to enjoy it.
I think of this little scene and deeply ponder that I may have been born to the wrong generation. I am that housewife. And I'm wearing a ruffled apron. And heels...in the kitchen. I slept in curlers the night before. I will have a roast beef on the table at 6:00 p.m. sharp for my husband. I am happy.
Alas, I am a product of generation X, a rare homemaker type among a sea of techies, info-maniacs, celebro-philes and those with an otherwise 2-second attention span.
So when I make Pineapple Upside Down Cake I don't look up the recipe online or on a blog. I reach for the Joy of Cooking. The same book that housewife probably used for her recipe. I feel a kindred moment between us, this non-existent housewife and I. And then I bake. And then I eat. And then I go watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while playing Angry Birds on my iPad and occasionally scanning my Facebook news feed. So I guess that kindred moment was brief.
If you feel like making one of these cakes yourself, check out this uber modern take on the classic. And it has rum. Yum.