Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Fashioned Baked Pineapple Casserole

Hot Pineapple Casserole, a side dish made with the unlikely combination of pineapple, tidbits or crushed, and layered with crushed Ritz crackers, and shredded cheddar cheese. Somehow it works!

Baked Pineapple Casserole

We southerners sure love our pineapple dishes. From sweet to savory and everywhere in between, we enjoy it in a multitude of dishes, and this is one of the oldest. Another one of those tasty dishes that doesn't really photograph all that pretty, and, at first glance, certainly seems an unlikely and odd combination of ingredients to pair together. Like its southern sisters Watergate Salad, 5 Cup Salad, and Old Fashioned Cherry Coke Salad, it's also another one of those difficult to place recipes in a menu listing - but, indeed, it is intended to be a side dish, and not a dessert.

I mentioned this casserole over on Facebook the other day when we were chatting about pineapple, and had several requests for the recipe, so here it is!  Baked Pineapple Casserole, also known as Pineapple au Gratin, is one of those old fashioned lost classics that doesn't make an appearance much anymore, though it should. It is simply a perfect side dish for roast pork or baked ham and ideal for the Easter table. You can make it with either the pineapple chunks, tidbits, or even with crushed pineapple.


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Recipe: Old Fashioned Baked Pineapple Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans of pineapple chunks, tidbits or crushed pineapple, drained, but juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, sliced thin
  • 1-1/2 sleeves of crushed Ritz crackers
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1-quart casserole dish, or spray with non-stick spray; set aside. Drain the pineapple juice into a saucepan; set aside the pineapple. Combine the sugar and cornstarch and add to the juice. Heat over medium high, stirring regularly, until sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Stir in the pineapple.

To the baking dish add 1/2 of the pineapple and syrup mixture, top that with 1/2 of the crushed Ritz crackers, and thinly slice 1/2 of the butter over the top. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the cheese; repeat layers but ending with the butter; reserve the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Baked uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove, add remaining cheese on top and return to the oven just until cheese has melted. Serve as a side dish with pork or ham.

Cook's Notes: Three or even four layers makes this casserole even better, so feel free to double it, or if you have an appropriate dish that will allow you to do 3 or more layers, use it. Instead of layering, you may mix together the drained pineapple with all of the cheese, transfer to the casserole, and pour the cooked pineapple juice syrup all over the top. Top with the crushed crackers and scatter the thinly sliced butter all over the top. To add some holiday color, add in a well drained, small jar of maraschino cherries.

Variation: This version is really almost like a crisp but it is also good. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with a small package of pineapple flavored Jello and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add 1 cup of water and heat over medium to medium high until mixture is smooth and has thickened. Stir in 2 cans of drained pineapple tidbits and transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with the shredded cheese, sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers on top, melt the butter and pour all over the top.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on April 17, 2011
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28 comments:

  1. This recipe has been a long time favorite of my moms. We both take it to a lot of church functions and get great reviews and requests for the recipe! Folks are surprised as to what's really in it!

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  2. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, and I would love to make it for my family very soon! One quick question, Should I use pineapple in it's own juices, light syrup, or heavy syrup? Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it!

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  3. I have a similar recipe. It calls for 2 (15 1/2 oz.) cans of pineapple chunks, 5 Tbsp. all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 crushed sleeve Ritz crackers, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and stick melted butter. Dump both cans of pineapple into casserole dish. Combine sugar and flour and sprinkle over pineapple. Spread cheese over this, then cracker crumbs, then butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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  4. I know Tina - once it's baked you really can't tell!

    Cindy I meant to put that - you need the pineapple in its own juices.

    Thanks Short and Sassy! That sounds like a great variation too.

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  5. I am definitely from the South and i have had my share of casseroles but I have never had nor heard of pineapple casserole. So interesting and sounds so good! Cant' wait to share this and make it for my mom and gradnmother!

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  6. I've heard of most of the old recipes that you talk about but I do believe this is a new one. Did you see my pickled pineapple post? I found it in a 1948 cookbook. It turned out delicious and was great over pork.

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  7. I have a recipe like this too, but haven't made it for years. I've always served it with a ham dinner. It's delicious, so thanks for reminding me about it Mary!

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  8. Oh wow! I haven't made this dish in ages. I learned it from the southern gals when I lived in NC. So good with Easter ham!

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  9. Y'all know how much I love to revive the "lost classics!" :) Enjoy.

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  10. Ritz is now packaged in smaller packages, so you might want to give a more accurate measurement.

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  11. Hi Gary & thanks! I noticed that the packages looked smaller so I did consider that here. I would have only used one sleeve, but I increased it to one and a half sleeves. I forgot to measure the crumbs though, so I can't give the measurement till the next time I make this. I think the casserole would have been fine without the extra crumbs though to be honest.

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  12. Never heard of it. I sure do want to try it though.

    How ya been?

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  13. This is one of my favorite recipes. And, I had almost forgotten about it! I'm going to be making this for Easter for sure! I don't think it really matters on the cracker crumbs. I've made it with more or less depending on what I had and it was good both ways.
    Take Care

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  14. I make something very similar to this every Easter, and pretty much any other time I serve a ham. The recipe I use has cubed bread in it rather than crackers, and it doesn't call for cheese... I got the recipe from a Yankee so maybe it's the Yankified version! Hmm... I just may try this version for Easter this year!

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  15. Love this recipe, but i use fresh pineapple and regular soda crackers...delish! Sometimes i add diced ham to it as well ;)

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  16. We mad this for Easter and was a big hit. I would like to post it on my site and of course give you credit. What do I need to do?

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  17. Hi and thanks so much .. glad y'all enjoyed it!!

    I would love if you would link to my post from your pictures and post, but would ask that you please not repost my exact recipe verbatim. If you have any questions just email me - thanks so much!

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  18. Thanks so much will post later this week when i get the wife to post the pictures. Will

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  19. Thanks so much Will - I appreciate the linky love!

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  20. This reminds me of pineapple sandwiches -- a slice of canned pineapple with mayo between 2 pieces of white bread. My husband has lived in the South all his life but had never heard of pineapple sandwiches. Maybe it's a country thing. Delicious though, as I imagine this casserole is.

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  21. A pineapple casserole sounds good!

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  22. I love this dish and haven't made it in forever. Thanks for the reminder.

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  23. Thanks for sharing this! I had never seen this dish until I moved to Georgia and it would make an appearance at just about every church potluck. Nobody will share their recipe though, so I am glad that I now know how to make it!

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    1. Really Chris? Aren't people just silly sometimes! Well, hope that you enjoy it.

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  24. Reckon I'll have to play with this a bit I rarely buy canned fruit and veggies anymore, it's either fresh, frozen or what I can myself for the most. I buy quite a bit of fresh pineapples, using a pineapple cutter I either cut it into chunks or slices, then fillet what's left on the skin and run it through my juicer. But anywho, this sounds like a great dish for Easter this coming Sunday with the folks!

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    1. Oh I agree with you completely Bill & fresh pineapple would be the best in this dish! I kept saying I should get one of those cutters they show on QVC - then I'd be more likely to use fresh!

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  25. I am considering trying this as a Thanksgiving side dish and adding a drained can of sweet potatoes.

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    1. Sound interesting - let us know if you make the plunge Marian!

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