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December 1st, 2008
Recipe Corner: Try scalloped pineapple with pork

Mercury Food Writer

I thought I would make a chocolate pudding pie as a dessert for the day after Thanksgiving and I took a little chance being inventive with the crust. I made my piecrust from sugar cookie dough, lined a Pyrex pie pan with a thin layer of the dough and baked it for 10 or 12 minutes. It came out of the oven just a little puffier than a regular crust, but it looked as though it would work just fine.

After the piecrust cooled, I got out my box of chocolate pudding only to discover that in my haste (and my addled state at seeing a sale tag on the shelf at the grocery store), I had mistakenly purchased the “cook and eat” variety of pudding instead of the tasty and easy instant kind. Shoot.

So I put the three cups of milk in the pudding powder and stirred it constantly until it boiled and thickened. I cooled it for five minutes before putting it in the pie shell and refrigerated it for more than three hours, with the addition of a piece of plastic wrap on the top to prevent that “pudding skin” that shows up on the “cook and eat” variety.

I cut the pie with a great deal of hope. The pudding looked fine and the crust looked fine, although as you can see from the picture it is wildly uneven. The only real problem was that I had forgotten how much less tasty cooked pudding is than its instant brothers. The pie cut well, the crust was good, but the filling was pretty dull. Lesson learned. Instant pudding is just tastier to my way of thinking. I should have combined the pudding with some cool whip and made it like a chocolate mousse filling.

A better dessert, seeing as how we had a spiral cut ham this year instead of turkey, would have been one of my new favorite side dishes, scalloped pineapple.

I was a paid companion to a 93-year-old lady named Bertie for several years, and, in the course of getting to know each other, we shared many recipes.  One of them was her recipe for the scalloped pineapple.

Quite honestly, I had never heard of scalloped pineapple and I would still not know what it was if Bertie had not made me taste it from her Meals On Wheels lunch tray.

I must confess that there is nothing that makes one feel more like a big silly pig than eating a portion of a senior citizen’s meal like that. It feels a tad embarrassing. However, the scalloped pineapple was delicious and Bertie expressed amazement that I’d never heard of it.

She always used it as a side dish for ham or pork chops but, really, it makes a darn good dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Here’s Bertie’s Recipe:

Scalloped Pineapple

2 cups of sugar (sometimes I just use 1 cup of white and a half cup of brown)
1 cup of butter or margarine, melted
1 20 oz can of undrained crushed pineapple
3 eggs, beaten
4 cups of torn white bread (The cheaper and the staler, the better. Tear the bread into fairly small pieces, say, the size of a crouton. Pack the bread pretty firmly into the cup.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the crushed pineapple and mix well. Stir in the beaten eggs and then fold in the bread.
Pour this mixture into a buttered 9×13 inch pan. The mixture will not look that appealing, Don’t fret.
Bake for one hour or until the top is browned and the edges are a bit crispy.

Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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