The Pantry: Sue’s Pineapple Bake

My mother-in-law makes this dish for every special occasion.  It is absolutely delicious, and everyone requests it whenever she cooks.  No matter how hard I try, mine never comes out quite like hers does.  I wonder if it’s the difference in our ovens.  It will be interesting to see if hers comes out the same way this time since she’ll be using a different oven.  My guess is that it will.  She makes some really amazing food.

This is great as a side, but to be honest, it makes a fantastic dessert, too.

I can’t ever make it exactly like she does– cakey and creamy at the same time, so I add all sorts of other things to the mix to make it my own.  I’ll give you guys the straight-up version since, that’s what we’ll be having on Thanksgiving Day.

Sue’s Pineapple Bake

Ingredients:

2- 20 oz cans pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve 3-5 tablespoons juice)
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp flour
2 cups  shredded cheddar
1 cup crushed buttery cracker crumbs
1 cup melted butter 

Directions:

1.  Mix together pineapple juice, sugar and flour. Add cheese and pineapple to mixture until combined. Spoon into greased 2 quart baking dish.

2.  Combine butter and cracker crumbs and sprinkle over pineapple mixture.

3.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes until light brown.

Yields: 8-12 servings, depending on how much the guests like it.

*Now, a caveat– I cannot EVER get this to be cake-like.  It’s always too runny for me.  To combat my issues, I cut the butter and cracker crumbs down.  I also don’t use the extra pineapple juice, and I squeeze the pineapple in a clean dish towel before adding it to the mix.  I also have been know to add diced apples and crushed walnuts on occasion.  Allowing the casserole to set for about 15-20 minutes after baking seems to help, too.

Alas, I think there are just some dishes that you’ll never make as good as mom does.

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