The weather is still playing tricks with Mother Nature here in the South. One day, we are teased with warmer temperatures and small buds appearing from trees, the next is a blast of cold and icy winds ripping the air. My dad always says, “Spring is just around the corner,” and he is always right. Spring will always come after the long days of dark skies and bitter cold. I am impatient though and have already began searching cookbooks for recipes bringing thoughts of warmer weather to mind.
Last week I indulged in another tropical favorite, using sweet pineapple and a twist of salty crackers, and grated cheddar cheese. Pineapple Casserole is a side dish popular in the South. Though many think of it as a dessert, and it certainly is sweet enough for an ending to any meal, but with fish, pork, or especially, chicken dishes, as a side, it works well. Why not have a second helping for dessert?
Pineapple Casserole is a mix of sweet and tart, as well as a hint of saltiness from buttery, crackers. Soup crackers could be used as a substitute, just be sure to mix them well with extra butter. Buttery crackers such as Ritz brand work best though. The addition of cheddar cheese pulls this casserole together and gives it another level of texture and taste. If you have never tried Pineapple Casserole before, I think you will find this particular recipe easy to make, and a joy to serve and enjoy. Even in the dish it looks tempting with it’s cracker crust and bubbly fruit underneath.
2 20 -ounce cans of crushed, unsweetened pineapple, drained well
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use Martha White)
1 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cups crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350*. Pour the drained pineapple into pan. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and flour, and sprinkle over the pineapple. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the sugar and flour mixture. Mix the crushed crackers and butter together and sprinkle over the top of casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.