Although I scour garage sales at this time of year in search of vintage cookbooks, and love flipping through them, recipes of a certain vintage tend to be less than appetizing, laden with Spam and cocktail wieners, pineapple rings and glace cherries. Some creations don’t deserve the ingredients they were born with – but it’s generally an easy upgrade. Real cherries for the candied ones (seriously – who thought turning a naturally red, juicy fruit brilliant green and solid with sugar was a good idea?) and fresh pineapple for the canned rings is an easy but extreme(ly delicious) makeover.
There’s no pressure to make proper caramel – you just whisk the butter and brown sugar – and a squirt of honey or syrup to get things going – until it’s smooth and bubbling. As the pineapple cooks it releases its juices and helps things along. And why, especially in summer, would someone opt for neon Christmas cherries when there are fresh Bings available?
Isn’t peach upside down cake a thing too? Really, any fruit can be tossed into caramel, topped with batter and baked into a pretty fab cake. It seems like a good thing to have in my summer recipe box.
The sour cream batter was – as usual – a means of using up a tub of sour cream that had outstayed its welcome in the fridge. Or maybe I’m just digging for excuses to bake a cake on a Sunday night.