Lynn of Athens, Ga., asked for help finding a lost recipe for “a pineapple cake that was the best I have had.” She recalled “it had a whipped cream mixture on top and in the layers. It had to be refrigerated.”
Readers sent us recipes for all kinds of pineapple cakes with lots of whimsical names.
“It was originally called Pea Pickin’ Cake because the cake was served to folks returning from the hot fields from picking peas,” wrote Gloria Quick of Dunn, N.C. “The name has evolved to Pig-Pickin’ Cake because it is often served at Southern ‘pig-pickins.’ That’s when a pig is cooked on a big grill and folks come by and pick the meat off.”
“This is Tennessee Ernie Ford Cake,” wrote Betty S. of Homestead. “We’ve been making it since forever, at least the last 50 years." Betty’s cake is almost exactly like Pea Pickin’ Cake, but calls for the pineapple juice to be drained from the fruit and poured over the warm cake. Then the fruit itself is folded into the frosting.
“The pineapple cake is possibly called Better than Sex Cake,” said Kay Scott. “It uses cake mix, mandarin oranges in the batter, and vanilla instant pudding mix, cool whip and crushed pineapple in the frosting.”
J.C. of Miami sent an unnamed recipe that says a lemon or white cake mix may be used.
Key lime chicken
Gwin of Miami Springs asked if anyone had the recipe for the Key Lime Chicken from Miami’s gone-but-not-forgotten Firehouse restaurant. We didn’t hear from any restaurant sources, but Laura James sent the recipe here. I tried it for my Fourth of July barbecue and it was a true success.
“I’m not sure where the recipe came from, because I’m forever scratching down recipes from TV shows or ripping them from the newspaper,” James wrote. “It is my go-to grilled chicken recipe and never fails to keep the chicken moist and punched with Key lime flavor.”
In Wicked Good Barbecue (Fair Winds Press, $21.99) Boston chef Andy Husbands and pit master Chris Hart give a decidedly Yankee slant to grill recipes. Besides sharing recipes that won them hundreds of competitions, they provide lots of humor and fun side dishes (fried mac and cheese pops) plus intriguing techniques (using a flower pot to mimic a tandoori oven).
The recipes are pretty intense, with lots of steps for the serious grill warrior, not the casual cook. I suggest making half the dry rub recipe here if you do not grill often, as the paprika in particular will lose flavor with long storage. The rub has a pretty hefty heat factor, but does wonders to just about anything you’d throw on the grill.