The Hawaiian Pie Of My Eye
This pie definitely tastes like it flew straight out of the 1950s or 60s and flashed forward into my mouth. And based on where this recipe was located in my Mom Betty’s cookbook, I’m likely not that far off on its origins. I’ll continue some research to see if I can determine the publication for this recipe because I recognize the size, format and paper.
The original recipe below claims this pie is a cross between lemon chiffon and lemon meringue. I had to Google the difference between both in order to put my stink eye at ease.
I love that this recipe calls for a pre-made pie crust vs. fresh (hey, this era was a time often about making fast meals which were often a combination of part scratch and part ready made). This has a definite sweet-sugary taste which is one of the reasons I recommend unsweetened coconut – you don’t need extra in this.
I’m not sure how Hawaiian this pie actually is but with coconut in it, the taste will likely remind you of soothing tropical sunsets and beautiful beaches. You can read more about my Texas family’s connection to Hawaii through a few more Hawaiian-inspired recipes. Enjoy!
❤ What’s a pie shield? It’s typically made of silicon and it can help prevent the top edges of your crust from burning. Here’s ours from Williams-Sonoma which is adjustable and its been a life saver! You can also make your own impromptu version by using foil and shaping it around the crust’s edge.
❤ A word about the filling. We had a lot of filling left over but we didn’t opt to make a second pie as we were on diets (yeah, that’s the ticket)! We poured the extra filling into some custard cups to devour on some weak moments after our initial pie festival.
Total prep: Allow 1 hour for Hawaiian pie prep plus 4 hours for chilling.
8 ¼ ounce can | crushed pineapple, drained (I could only find an 8 ounce can of Libby’s)
¼ cup | brown sugar, packed
¼ cup | unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons | unsalted butter, softened (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
9-inch | pastry shell, unbaked
4-serving size | regular lemon pudding mix
½ cup | granulated sugar
1 ¾ cup | water
2 | cage free egg yolks, slightly beaten (save the whites for below!)
2 tablespoons | fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon | more butter
2 | cage free egg whites
¼ cup | more granulated sugar
to garnish | toasted coconut (optional but highly recommended)
iii. What To Do
Set out your butter to soften to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
1. MAKE THE PIE BASE
Combine the drained pineapple, brown sugar, ¼ cup of the coconut and 2 tablespoons butter. Spread it over the bottom of the pastry shell.
2. BAKE THE PIE’S BOTTOM
Cover the edge of the pastry with foil or a silicon pie shield. Bake in your preheated oven at 425°F for 15 minutes, removing the crust protector after the first 5 minutes of baking. When done, remove the pie from the oven and set it aside to cool.
3. LET’S MAKE CUSTARDY FILLING
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat combine the pudding mix with a ½ cup of the granulated sugar. Stir in the water and egg yolks and cook and stir until things are bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining butter. Cover with clear plastic wrap and let things cool, stirring occasionally.
4. LET’S PREP THE WHITES
In a bowl beat the egg whites on high speed with your mixer until you see soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar until everything forms stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cooled filling. Pile everything on top of the baked pastry shell.
5. PREPARE FOR DISMOUNT
Place the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve garnish with some toasted coconut.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
I had never heard of a pineapple cookie before but when Joe found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I was excited; we had all the ingredients in our kitchen meaning treat consumption was near. We just needed to get the featured ingredient – the pineapple.
A quick trip to the store and back we started cookie production … Lah de dah … I was following the recipe and noticed that it ended at the bottom of the page Mom tore out of a magazine and there was no continuation of the recipe – no extra page! Click here to hear the sound in my head when I realized the recipe was incomplete!
I scoured the front and back of the page (below) containing the recipe and noticed a small callout for folks to send their old-fashioned family recipes to “Southern Living” – and if their recipe was used they would receive $5/each. Note to self: Southern Living. I also noticed a Lemon Jell-O Peachy Cream Salad recipe with a copyright of 1979. Note to self: 1979. With these two data nuggets I should have been lucky enough to find the recipe but the interwebs did not produce; I couldn’t find any record of the recipe – not even on SouthernLiving.com. But I found this one, which helped me interpret and fill-in the gaps.
Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits of all. I hope you give this recipe a whirl!
foodie tips ~
♥ I added the nuts. “Nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans, y’all.
♥ I read several online complaints about cookies like these being soggy and wet. Follow these instructions! Make sure and DRAIN the pineapple. I had no problems with soggy cookies!
♥ I recently purchased a cookie scoop which makes forming cookies a snap. Give it a squeeze and see!
♥ I’m confident iodized salt was used back in the day. Today I’m a salt lover and have five salt varieties in my kitchen. I used a kosher salt for these cookies and was treated to a little kick of salt in-between the pineapple nuggets. I liked.
1 ¾ cups | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | soda
¼ teaspoon | baking powder
¼ teaspoon | salt
½ cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
1 | cage free egg
1 teaspoon | vanilla extract
½ cup | crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup | chopped nuts (these are not optional says me)
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 375°F.
1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. Combine sugars and shortening in a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid); cream until light and … [ here’s where I pick up with the rest of the instructions ] … chunky.
3. Beat egg and vanilla into creamed mixture.
4. By hand stir-in the pineapple and nuts.
5. Fold-in half of the dry ingredients from step 1 above into the creamy mixture. Hand mix until well blended. Add/mix/blend the last half of dry ingredients.
6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. If the first tray turns out a bit crispy, reduce the baking time on the next go.
Yields: About 24 cookies
One of my favorite childhood memories was spent with Mom as we’d “will” snow to come for a delightful visit.
During special winter nights, when the temperature dropped and the dark sky was fluffy white, we’d patiently sit together by the dining room window with the back porch floodlights aglow. We were watching the sky for flurries.
South Texas snow flurries!
While snow flurries didn’t arrive until I was 18 years old, this seemingly fruitless ritual instilled in me the basic belief of hope. Hope for a snowier tomorrow. And more importantly… the belief that something great was just around the corner… no matter how long it took to arrive.
While the South Texas snowflake is a treasured rarity, the greatest of all snowfalls arrived in January of 1985. Still living at home with Mom, (she was a widow just 3 years young), we woke to discover a 13 inch snowfall in our Alamo City! It was like a Texans’ Colorado-loving dream come true.
Oh, and it was.
It was then I found my most favorite frozen delight. And now I share with you Mom’s culinary frozen *and fruity* treat, compliments of this recipe. Now you don’t have to wait for winter to muster-up your own frozen delight.
1-8 oz. can | crushed pineapple (Dole doesn’t make 8.25 oz. cans any more)
2 large | bananas
¾ cup | sugar
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
2 tablespoons | chopped cherries
2 cups | sour cream
1/2 cup | chopped texas pecans
ii. what to do
0. First find yourself a 1.5 quart mold. Since “quarts” aren’t referenced much these days, a 1.5 quart mold holds 6 cups.
1. Chop the cherries and pecans if need be and set ’em aside.
2. Drain the pineapple and dump the mixture into a medium-sized prep bowl.
3. Mash the banana and add it to the pineapples.
4. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients.
5. Pour the mixture into the mold and freeze until firm (about 4-6 hours).
To serve, dip the mold into warm water a few seconds to loosen the frozen delight. Place an upside down serving plate on top of the mold… flip… and lift the mold up. If you’re lucky the delight will release from the mold and you’re ready to dig-in!
This is an easy dessert to make with kids ~ a fine alternative to the hand crank ice cream machines used back in the 70s, when I was a tot.
Foodie Tip ~
♥ I’m sure Mom used jarred red maraschino cherries for this tasty dish. You can also use Amarena Fabbri wild cherries from Italy to spice this up a bit. And you can add a few more than just 2 tablespoons. For posterity.