Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Serves 8-10

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 fresh organic pineapple, cored and sliced in 1/2-inch slices
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup organic sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

To prepare the topping:

Melt the butter in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Toss the pineapple with the lemon juice. Cook gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar, ginger and vanilla. Cook until the pineapple slices are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove the pineapple from the pan. Boil the juice in the pan until a thick, dark, syrup has formed. Remove from the heat and arrange the pineapple on the bottom of the skillet. Set aside while preparing the cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare the cake: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating with each addition. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and slowly add them to the egg mixture to form a stiff batter. In a small, dry, clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter over the pineapple in the skillet. Even out the batter with a spatula. Bake in the middle level of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly. Let the cake stand for about 5 minutes before turning out upside down on a serving platter. Serve warm.