I grew up on an island full of mango trees. Every June, when the weak ones couldn’t hang on, my parents’ friends would bring over paint buckets full of deep green ones to pickle. More buckets would arrive if there was someone visiting from California. I never liked pickled mangos but apparently if we had a real county fair, my mom would get a blue ribbon for her pickled mangos. The mangos would eventually turn into a golden orange, marked with a shade of red. During that part of the mango season, my dad would slice them up after every meal and serve them up for dessert. We would all lust after the seed.
I’ve been longing for these sweet mangos ever since. Where I live now, the skins are very deceiving and I am hopeful each time I slice into one, but, I always end up disappointed. While I was grocery shopping yesterday, I saw container of sliced, frozen mango halves so I bought them. I had a golden pineapple waiting for me at home (if you’ve never had a Maui gold pineapple, you’re missing out) and thought that this would make a good Pineapple Mango Upside Down Cake. Originally, I saw a recipe in my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, but I found one I liked better on foodnetwork.com via Michael Chiarello. I’ve never made pineapple upside down cake before, but will be sure to make this one from now on. I'm having dreams about a coco(nut)-pine-mango upside down cake.
I left out the macadamia nuts, which I found to be a good decision. Instead of the round pan the recipe calls for, I went with an 8x8 pan making the look of the cake a little more updated. The juices ended up leaking through my square pan so I placed a cookie sheet at the bottom of the oven halfway through cooking. I will do that at the beginning of cooking, next time. The cake itself was tender and moist, and not overly sweet. With the addition of vanilla extract, I might actually double the cake recipe and cover it with chocolate sour cream frosting one of these days. The “upside down” part was very good and complemented the cake perfectly (upside down pictured to the right with a drizzle of brown sugar sauce). I took the core out of the rings with a two inch cookie cutter. Forsaking design for uniformity, I would chop all of the pineapple instead of leaving them in rings and mix it with the chopped mango. Eat this cake straight out of the oven, it doesn't have the same taste once it has been refrigerated! This was tropical heaven with a side of whipped cream, but better I’m betting, if it was served a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.