Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pineapple Casserole

A couple of people requested the recipe for the pineapple bread pudding, and being that it's really good I figured I would go ahead and give it out to everyone, but first a little on its history.

All sides of my family, except the Orthodox Jewish side, have been making pineapple casserole since way before I was born. It's supposed to have come from Mommom Jewel's sister Aunt Selma who was the best cook in the family. Aunt Selma married a man from Italy and this only ended up making her a better cook because his Italian mother taught her to cook Italian food. Aunt Selma's original recipe was called "Pineapple Bake" and I have a feeling it appeared in some magazine back in the day or was on the back of a box or a label to something back in the 50s. Throughout the generations we added to, took away from and altered the recipe a bit. We started calling it pineapple casserole, and just this year my father and I decided to liberate it from such a white trashy name which did it no justice at all, and call it Pineapple Bread Pudding, which is what it is anyway. Since everyone has been making it for so long we no longer have or use a written recipe, which is fine because it always turns out fine whether you measure or not or forget things or put in too much of something else. If you are dead set on measuring I found you a very close recipe which I will copy and paste here and provide the link to. I will add my comments for you in a different color because my way of making it is slightly different.

Pineapple Bread Pudding


2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (I have never used salt, but I like salt, so it can't hurt)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten (I use at least 5 eggs beaten)
2 cups fresh bread cubes (We have it down to a science. Forget the 2 cups. Its 14 slices of white bread, the shitty, gummy, butter-topped kind, but brioche or challah would be even better.)
6 tablespoons melted butter ( are you kidding me? Forget this 6 T crap. It's an entire stick and keep an extra stick on hand in addition to that because you should put some on top before you bake it)
This recipe doesn't include it, but I also add in about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of half and half or whole milk. It'll work if you don't use it at all though, but it makes it richer and more custardy.
Also the person who wrote this recipe forgot the most important thing A teaspoon of vanilla and by a teaspoon I mean hold the spoon over the bowl and let it overflow some because vanilla is good.

Combine the undrained pineapple with salt, sugar, and flour and the vanilla and the half and half or milk. Stir in the beaten eggs. Toss bread cubes with the melted butter OK, so this person forgot another KEY STEP. You MUST toast all the bread in the toaster first and then cut it into cubes. It's gross if you don't toast the bread first. You must trust me on this and TOAST THE BREAD, THEN toss it in melted butter then fold into the pineapple mixture. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish I don't know what the hell this means. We bake it in a greased 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish. Also top it with some little pieces of butter before baking because this helps its get brown and crunchy on top and if you want to get extremely fancy you can even decorate it with maraschino cherries but this should be reserved for very special occasions only and bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure it's set and not all jiggly and runny in the middle and let it get nice and brown on top because browness tastes good. You can serve it hot or cold, as a side dish (especially if you're in the South because sweets are considered vegetables and salads) or as a dessert. We always have it with ham. Sometimes its nice heated up for dessert with vanilla ice cream on top. People who have never eaten this freak the hell out when they eat it. I'm just warning you.

Let me know if any of you all make this and if you like it.


dcfullest said...

WholeFoods sells this in their bakery, I bought some just this week. They have raisins and use crossants in their recipe and it is amazing.

Wide Lawns said...

Yum!! Croissants would be really good. Raisins, I don't know. I'll have to see if they make it at my Whole Foods and compare theirs to the original.

basteine said...

We make a similar version and it has been an easter staple for years in my family. But we also have a version of that jello recipe you so despise called pretzel salad. Pretzel sticks are the base and baked with margerine to form a " crust " . Then comes a layer of cream cheese. This amalgamation is then topped with strawberry jello that has strawberries suspended in it. The margerine was enough for me. I dont want to eat something that is supposed to be healthier than what it replaces ( butter ) but is in fact much worse.

perl said...

OHHHH! My mom made this once and everybody *flipped* out - just like you said. Since it's so nasty (not tasting, just nasty in general) I've been taking it to potlucks and picnics ever since.

...will have to try with toasted bread. That may bring it to a whole other level.

Kerry said...

This sounds fantastic!! I'll have to try it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! Never had it before but it does sound really good to prepare with ham like your family does. I wish I had this sooner before I made my Easter dinner!!! LOL.

Anonymous said...

As with French toast, I ponder whether you could just spread the bread out on the counter and let it dry out overnight...just a variation. Sounds yummy, any way it's made.

Lauren said...

I had a bread pudding today made with croissant and cranberries... and a really delicious creamy bourbon sauce.. AMAZING

I don't even like bread pudding..

Anonymous said...

Paula Dean recently featured a bread pudding made with two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Another fabulous recipe from the lady who invented FRIED lasagne, because you know lasagne doesn't have ENOUGH calories and fat.,1977,FOOD_9936_27413,00.html

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am going to try your salmon salad/pasta dish tonight. Thanks for the recipe, that damned can has been taunting me for months (said pregnancy baby is now going to turn one tomorrow!). I had a pretty nightmarish experience at my Bronx Irish in-laws' house for easter: ham, sweet potato casserole that was equal parts sugar and sweet potatoes, canned creamed corn that was burned somehow and a stringbean casserole topped with cream of mushroom soup that must have been started on the oven sometime around Good Friday. Jello salads and such may be nasty looking, but at least some sort of skill and effort went into constructing them. I don't think you can beat Irish families for just plain abusive treatment to innocent ingredients. My grandmother who was also Irish was the second worst cook I've ever known.

SkippyMom said...

You have a knack of making even a recipe read funny! Some browness is good . I like to read recipes anyway...but this one was great! I can't wait to try it...the fact that it doesn't call for raisins is a big PLUS in our home...thanks!

Boomer said...

It kind of sounds like a weird form of trifle, especially if you do add the milk. Which leaves open the door to making it with stale danish, old donuts, even bagels.

I'll play around with it when I have a working oven again.

Ms Bart said...

I love making bread puddings. Everyone's favorite that I make is made with pumpkin puree and makes a festive autumnal treat.

I agree that toasting the bread is a key 'secret'. If the bread is too fresh (or not toasted) the whole thing just falls apart.

And I'm not touching any of those jello salads. Wiggling isn't for salads.

Anonymous said...

One of the best versions of pineapple bread pudding I've ever made. Thank you for your entertaining directions. It's what drew me to trying it out from the many recipes that were listed online. I did make a couple of changes...I used 4 c. of stale bread from a loaf of days old bread I had hanging out in my kitchen. It was some type of a hearty European bread. To cut down on the fat, I did stick to the 5 T butter and sprinkled cinnamon on top.

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