Individual upside-down pineapple cakes make a nice ending for any meal. In this recipe, chunks of fresh pineapple are lightly coated in a caramel-like sauce, then topped with a superbly moist pudding-style cake.
If you don't have fresh pineapple on hand, use canned pineapple in juice (be sure to drain the fruit thoroughly). Serve unadorned, drizzled with crème Anglaise, beside a scoop of ice cream (try our Pineapple Ice Cream), or garnished with chunks of Roasted Pineapple.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter six 1/2-cup ramekins or pudding cups and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the brown sugar in a medium bowl and add the pineapple chunks, tossing with your hands to coat the fruit. Add the pineapple to the hot butter and cook for 30 to 45 seconds without stirring. Then stir the fruit constantly until the fruit is tender and the sauce is thick and sticky, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the fruit and sauce between the ramekins.
In a medium bowl, beat the white sugar with the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla to create a smooth batter.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and stir until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a baking or roasting pan that will hold them without touching. Add boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the cakes have puffed and set, and the tops are lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven and let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the water bath. They will deflate as they cool. Remove from the water and cool another 5 to 10 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the edge of each ramekin. Place a flat plate atop a ramekin, and holding the plate and the ramekin together, invert. Repeat with the remaining cakes. If any fruit remains in the ramekin, replace it on top of the pudding cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.