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Island dreamin’

A taste of sunny Jamaica is good medicine for a cold, grey winter’s day.

A taste of sunny Jamaica is good medicine for a cold, grey winter’s day. Fragrant pineapple rings and white cake scented with lime upgrade this comfort-food favourite.

Adapted from Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen by Lucinda Scala Quinn. You can cut rings from a fresh pineapple, but they are bigger and messier than the canned slices.

Jamaican pineapple upside-down cake
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

• 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) packed dark brown sugar
• 14 oz (400 mL) can pineapple slices
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) pecan halves
• 1-1/3 cups (315 ml) all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup (180 ml) granulated sugar
• 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
• 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
• 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
• 1 large egg
• Finely grated zest of 1 lime
• 1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
• 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

Melt butter in 10-inch, cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Remove from burner. Sprinkle in brown sugar evenly. Arrange pineapple slices in pan. (Probably 7 of the 8 rings in the can.) Arrange pecans over top, especially in spaces around pineapple rings.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and oil. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Add egg, zest, juice and vanilla. Beat just until well combined.

Pour batter evenly over pineapple in pan. Bake in preheated 350F oven until tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean and top of cake is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Carefully invert onto circular platter. Eat warm or at room temperature.

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