Pineapple Pie (Johnny Cash’s Mother’s Recipe)

I was making a couple test recipes for pineapple vinegar last week.  Both are recipes I’ve wanted to make for about a year now, but every time I used fresh pineapple, I didn’t have time to use the peel for the vinegars.  Suddenly, it felt like wasting food every time I threw out pineapple peel. Last weekend I needed to test the vinegar recipes, so I bought the pineapples, trimmed off the peel, put all the fruit in a large Ziplock bag, and tried to convince my family that pineapple goes with every meal.

When that approach didn’t work, I searched recipes to use up the fruit and stumbled on a recipe for pineapple pie.  It was posted to by chef mailbelle, who says that her husband was Johnny Cash’s cousin, and this recipe comes from the Favorite Recipes from Mama Cash’s Kitchen cookbook.  The recipe is written in that sparse way that implies it’s a family recipe, made from memory, and only written down when it was requested.  Sometimes details are forgotten or left out because we’ve done it so many times we start assuming that everyone else has too.  The recipe is simple, yet delicious, and now holds the record for the fastest disappearing pie ever in my household.

Instead of canned, I used the fresh pineapple I had leftover from the vinegar peels, so I put a cup or so of that through the Ninja blender to crush it.  The instructions did not say to drain the pineapple, so I drained 3/4 of the cup by pushing it through a sieve, which also mashes the fruit into a near puree.  I left the last 1/4 cup undrained and in small bits.  I also made a homemade crust, and I would suggest using an 8 or 9-inch pie dish for this recipe.  Although the filling rises and puffs up nicely, it won’t completely fill out a deep-dish pie plate.  The end result is a slightly crunchy, lightly browned topping, with a custard-like filling.  I liked the contrast between finely strained pineapple puree making up the custard, with the small bits of pineapple for texture.  There’s just something about old southern comfort food, and I think this one is going to become a family favorite around my house.


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup crushed pineapple

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