Pineapple Casserole, The Southern Dish That’s A Paradox Of Flavors


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When somebody dies, we instinctively possess the urge to seek out that individual’s family members and fill their fridges with an absurd quantity of meals. For some unknown cause, we often do that with casseroles. Actually, actually bizarre casseroles.

The result’s a really particular kind of delicacies that has earned the blunt identify “funeral meals.” It takes on totally different varieties in numerous regional cultures, however within the American South particularly, fridges tends to replenish with jello salads and mayonnaise-based casseroles.

Perre Coleman Magness, who beforehand penned a whole cookbook about pimento cheese to show her Southern avenue cred, has simply written a brand new e-book as regards to funeral meals known as The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Meals With A Twist. In it, she shares recipes like Deviled Ham, Scorching Hen Salad and a Jack and Coke Sheet Cake. However one recipe particularly stands out among the many others: “That Pineapple Factor.”

Let’s permit Magness to clarify: “You’ll discover this recipe in nearly each Southern neighborhood cookbook, generally within the dessert part, generally within the aspect dish part, typically alongside ham recipes. Tacky Pineapple Casserole, Scalloped Pineapple, generally simply Pineapple Casserole, it’s there within the dog-eared, worn pages of favourite cookbooks.”

The casserole is often fabricated from canned pineapple chunks coated in sugar and flour, after which baked with a topping fabricated from crumbled Ritz crackers, melted butter and sometimes grated Cheddar cheese. Simply studying the checklist of components is sufficient to make you examine your ldl cholesterol and blood sugar ranges.

Because it seems, pineapple casserole isn’t simply restricted to native, small-town cookbooks ― or funerals, for that matter. The web is suffering from recipes for it. Paula Deen has a model, after all, as do blogs resembling Genius Kitchen and Actual Housemoms. Even Oprah has a recipe for pineapple casserole.

On Tasting Desk, Kat Kinsman recalled studying in regards to the dish from her Southern husband over the vacations: “I grabbed the grater and set to work, swallowing down my fear as I stirred in every ingredient: canned fruit, sugar, fats, processed and salty crackers. Right here goes every part. I barely had room to slot in the primary chunk, however I did, and a second and a 3rd. After which I sidled again to the buffet for an additional serving to. Just like the celebration itself, yeah, it’s fairly tacky, however splendidly candy at its core.”

Southern Residing even has a narrative known as, “It’s Simply Not Easter With out Pineapple Casserole.” Writer Caroline Rogers says, “Pineapple casserole is a quintessential Southern dish, and at Easter, you’ll all the time discover it within the lunch unfold, on the desk between the sliced ham and buttery cornbread, with a serving spoon on the prepared. The pineapple is a image for hospitality, so what higher strategy to welcome friends?”

The extra you concentrate on pineapple casserole, the extra it really begins to sound surprisingly scrumptious. 

Under is the recipe from Magness’ e-book. Make it and resolve for your self.

That Pineapple Factor

From The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Meals With A Twist, by Perre Coleman Magness

  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • half teaspoon kosher salt
  • eight ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 40 buttery crackers, resembling Ritz (that’s about 1 sleeve)
  • eight tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Drain the crushed pineapple and the chunks over a bowl to catch the juice. Whisk the sugar, flour and salt collectively in a medium mixing bowl, then add the grated cheese. Toss the cheese round to separate any clumps, ensuring all of the cheese is coated with the sugar combination. Add each pineapples and stir to mix, ensuring there are not any dry components seen within the bowl and that every part is nicely combined. Unfold the pineapple in a fair layer in a well-greased two-quart baking dish.
  2. Put the crackers right into a zip-top plastic bag and crush together with your arms till you’ve got high-quality crumbs, with just a few bigger items lingering. Rinse and dry out the bowl, then combine the crumbs with the melted butter and 1/four cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Unfold the crumb topping evenly excessive of the casserole.
  3. At this level, the casserole will be lined and refrigerated for as much as a day. When able to serve, preheat the oven to 350º F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes till scorching by means of and bubbly and golden on the highest. Serve heat.

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