I always hesitate to use the phrase, "Just like mom used to make" or "Just like Grandma used to make". I don't know about you, but my grandmas just weren't those types of women. They were special alright, but not in the traditional apron-over-the-best-dress kind of way.
I almost would classify this as, "Just like grandma would have made if she had a cast iron pan and wood stove".
I happen to have both. And as I type, the fragrance of warm, buttery, brown sugar-y, goodness fills the air. This recipe is from a 1920's cookbook. There is no known exact date as to when this cake came to be. Some say it originated from a recipe that was then-titled, Pineapple Glace"...but it's hard to say!
Here it is, in all it's glory!
6 T butter
1 C packed brown sugar
7 slices canned pineapple
Maraschino cherries and pecan halves
1/4 C shortening (I use lard...don't hate me. But it's from my own pig, so it's okay.)
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C milk
1 t vanilla
In a cast iron skillet, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and simmer until the sugar melts. Remove from heat and add the pineapple slices, arranged. Place cherries and pecans in the center of each slice. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350*. (Or, if you have a wood stove, crank up the heat until you can place your hand in the oven for only 3 seconds before it feels like your skin will burn off.)
Blend shortening (or lard) and granulated sugar until thoroughly mixed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully combined. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to shortening mixture, alternating with milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour batter over the pineapple in the skillet and bake for 35-45 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate once it's cooled for 15 minutes or so. Top with whipped cream (homemade, if you can) and serve.
Heaven on a plate!