Pineapple Upside-Down Pudding

This is a delicious, classic dessert – it’s a firm favourite in our family, and when I was little I’d always request it as part of my birthday tea. Not only is it fabulously easy and pretty cheap, but something about the warm sponge, laced with sweet, zingy pineapple juice and drizzled with cream, is endlessly comforting.

1 tin of pineapple (rings look prettier than chunks, but it doesn’t matter)
2 eggs
120g granulated sugar
120g self-raising flour
120g margarine
Double cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan). Start out by weighing the eggs and making a note of the weight. Then weigh out the same amount of sugar, margarine and flour (it should be about 120g, or 4oz, but if you use the same amount then you’ll make sure that the sponge isn’t too wet or too dry, even if the eggs are a bit bigger or smaller than usual) and mix it all together thoroughly. Drain the tin of pineapple (keep the juice) and arrange the rings in the bottom of an ovenproof dish – remember that you’re going to turn the pudding out once it’s cooked (hence why it’s called upside-down pudding) and the pattern from the pineapple will be on the top. If you really want the authentic old-school look, add a fluorescent pink glacé cherry in the centre of each pineapple ring.

Spoon the cake mixture over the fruit and smooth it so that it’s roughly even. Pop it in the oven, and test with a fork after 30 minutes – the extra moisture from the fruit can mean it takes longer to cook, so if the fork is coming out with a bit of uncooked mixture on it, give the pudding another five or ten minutes. Finally, turn the pudding out and drizzle with cream and the reserved pineapple juice, then serve up thick slices while it’s still warm – bliss.