Four months? Four months since I posted here? Apparently so. No idea what happened in that void, other than psychic pain and misery inflicted by the Giant Dorito in the White House, but let us not speak of that. Let us speak of the day when the sun shines again, which we hope will be very very soon.
Fast forward to happier thoughts.
We had guests come to dinner last night, including someone my husband hadn’t seen in more than 40 years. He barbecued 1/2 pound hamburgers. I made the guacamole, the oven fries, and this Aloha Pie.
Years ago I had a slice of Aloha Pie in a restaurant and it was just fabulous, but that restaurant is long gone. I tried a couple of recipes but they weren’t the same… until now.
This started as a recipe for Pineapple Cheese Pie from Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes Volume 1, which you should own because it’s full of retro-to-nearly-retro recipes that anyone can make and which are deliciously unconcerned with fat, salt, and sugar. My copy is stained, dog-eared, and falling apart. I will never let go of it. Anyway, I looked at that recipe and thought it could be improved upon with little effort.
And after all that, the guests didn’t stick around for dessert. Their loss. It was divine.
This makes a deep-dish 10″ pie.
Note: Do not be tempted to use fresh pineapple. It contains an enzyme that prevents gelatin (in the cream cheese) from setting up.
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed (or substitute another cookie like Nilla Wafers)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
Crush the graham crackers by putting them in a plastic bag and whacking them with a rolling pin or similar implement of destruction, or putting them in a blender or food processor. Or you can do what I do and just put them in the pie plate and crumple them with your hands, not worrying if some pieces are bigger than crumb-size. Pour the melted butter in and mix it around. Pat the ensuing butter-crumb melange onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake in a 350 oven for 10 minutes and set aside.
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
- 2 eggs
- scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Using an electric mixer, blend all the filling ingredients together until smooth. Then add:
- 1 can (about 1 pound, more or less) pineapple chunks in juice, thoroughly drained (use a good name-brand like Del Monte, not an off-brand. Also, use the juice for something else like a cocktail)
- 1 firm-ripe thinly sliced banana
Fold those in carefully, then scrape all the filling into the baked crust and smooth the top. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
While that is baking, in the same bowl combine
- 1 cup sour cream (I used low fat; nonfat or regular would work too)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Separately, put about
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
in a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat, shaking and stirring frequently, until it has a nice tan. Remove from the pan (if you leave it in the pan it will burn from residual heat) and set aside.
When the pie has baked its allotted 20 minutes, remove from oven. Spread the sour cream mixture evenly over the top, then sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes, then remove pie to a cooling rack. Let cool for an hour, then cover and store in refrigerator.
This was even better than I hoped for.
Vary this pie by leaving out the banana and coconut, in which case it would revert to Pineapple Cheese Pie status. Add some macadamia nuts or toasted almonds along with the coconut or in place of. Use vanilla extract, coconut extract, and/or a spoonful of rum in place of the almond extract. If there are egg whites hiding in the refrigerator, skip the sour cream and top with a meringue instead.
I can’t think of anything you would want to garnish this with. This is perfect on its own.