Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Cake served with ice cream is a favorite in my house. Many people, my brother included, feel that cake is basically not worth its salt (or sugar) unless combined with a plump scoop of ice cream. Vanilla is the most popular flavor to pair with cakes, but other flavors can lend a dessert more dimension and kick. Here, passion fruit ice cream gives traditional pineapple upside-down cake a whole new life.

Ingredients

Passion Fruit Ice Cream

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups milk
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 5 tablespoons passion fruit purée

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • 1 small fresh pineapple
  • 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Combine the milk, cream, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the milk and cream into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl and cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Stir in the passion fruit purée. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel, quarter, and core the pineapple. Cut the pineapple into 1-by-¾-inch pieces. You should have about cups. Reserve any extra for another use. Melt 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the brown sugar and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Whisk until smooth. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Place the pineapple pieces in a single layer over the brown sugar mixture. In a large bowl, cream the remaining 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter and the granulated sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir in the salt. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream or crème fraîche and vanilla extract. In 3 additions, alternately stir the wet and the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Spread the batter over the pineapple. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

In Advance

The cake is best eaten the day it is baked. Store at room temperature.

To Serve

Let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan. Place a large plate on top of the cake. Invert the plate and cake pan together. Remove the cake pan. Scrape off any brown sugar topping that sticks to the pan and spread it over the pineapple. Serve the cake at room temperature, with the passion fruit ice cream.

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