The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Poetry and pineapples

Rachael Conlin Levy

As Barack Obama sat down to the traditional Inaugural Luncheon, I arranged rings of pineapple in caramelized brown sugar and wrote a limerick to our new leader. I hope you do something to make this day special.

On this wintr’y day I bake
a sweet inaugural cake,
to celebrate a new prez,
a black man, no lez!
Of hist’ry, I happ’ly partake.

Here is the recipe from “Chez Panisse Fruit,” with my modifications: Melt 4 tablespoons butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar in a cast-iron skillet. When the mixture starts to caramelize, turning a darker shade of brown, remove from heat and let cool. Arrange slices of pineapple rings evenly in the bottom of the pan and place a maraschino cherry in the center of each ring. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

To make the cake batter, sift 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. In a large mixing bowl, cream 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter and 1 cup white sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 2 egg yolks, one at a time. Gradually add the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup whole milk in stages.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Beat until the whites form firm peaks. Fold the whites into the batter in two batches. Pour the batter over the topping in the skillet and bake until the top is slightly brown and the cake pulls away, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

One response to “Poetry and pineapples”

  1. Kyna says:

    Happy Inauguration Day!

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