The Best Pineapple Stuffing
Most people have a favorite Thanksgiving food. If it were ever omitted from the menu, their Thanksgiving celebration would not feel complete without it. A couple of years ago I discovered pineapple stuffing is the symbolic Thanksgiving placeholder in my family. They believe Thanksgiving is just not Thanksgiving without pineapple stuffing.
My favorite Thanksgiving food is not just one food item, but the whole meal. A coming together to gather, create, and give thanks: a celebration centered around special and delicious food and family. Each composite bite of turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all the different vegetables is a sumptuous forkful of gratitude. I am always grateful and thankful for the love of my family, good health and well-being, and our amazing diversified bounty. For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.
Pineapple stuffing may not be a traditional Thanksgiving food, but it fits right in with all the usuals. It is a perfect side-dish to pair with ham as a sweet and buttery spoonful of comfort. When combined with the salty/meatiness of ham, it is a flavor combination that will satisfy your cravings and calm your soul. I believe no ham is complete without the pineapple stuffing. Forget the pinned pineapple rings, pineapple stuffing is a lot more satisfying an easier to manage.
Learn all about buying and cooking ham here.
Pineapple stuffing is very easy to make and can be made ahead, kept in the refrigerator, and later warmed up in the oven. (It could freeze well, but I have not tested that yet.) There are only five main ingredients and requires very little preparation to make. I received this recipe from a friend over 18 years ago and can practically make it in my sleep. Over the years the only adjustment I have made to the recipe, is cutting back on the sugar. I now use 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 cups of sugar. The canned pineapple adds a lot of sweetness on its own, and the omitted 1/2 cup of sugar is not missed.
Need to bring a pie for Thanksgiving, try my Swedish Apple Pie for an easy and delicious dessert.
Pineapple stuffing is a perfect side dish for any holiday celebration. It is our family favorite for Thanksgiving and it just might become your family’s favorite as well. Pace yourselves, you might be tempted to go back for seconds, thirds and fourths, if you are lucky enough to have any leftover.
Bonus: Don’t throw out the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple, make a signature holiday cocktail with the juice. The possibilities are endless. I made a cocktail with pineapple juice, pomegranate molasses, (just a smidgen), mint and vodka vigorously shaken up. I used these ingredients because that what was in my house at the time. You can swap the pomegranate molasses with pomegranate juice or cranberry juice, you just want something on the bitter side to counter the sweet of the pineapple.
Not feeling inspired to come up with your own cocktail, here is a recipe for a Simple Sling, a pared down Singapore Sling.
Add seltzer, pineapple and cranberry juice combo for a non-alcoholic drink.
- 2 20 oz 625g cans of crushed pineapple in its own juice
- 8 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups 11 1/4 oz or 319 g of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup 4 oz/ 113g of butter
- 10 slices of white sandwich bread *see note
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/ 125 degrees C/ Gas Mark 4
Lightly butter a 9" x 12" ( ~ 24 cm x 31 cm) baking pan.
Place the pineapple in a fine mesh strainer that is resting over a medium bowl and drain the juice from the crushed pineapple. Press on the pineapple to get as much juice out of the pineapple as possible. Set crushed pineapple aside and reserve the juice for another use. If you do not have a fine mesh strainer, use a colander lined with a double layer of cheese cloth. You can gather the ends of the cheese cloth together and squeeze the juice out.
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove. Set aside to cool.
Slice the crusts off the sandwich bread and cut into about 3/4 inch cubes. Be careful to not squish the bread when cutting it into cubes. Put the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl big enough to hold the pineapple and the bread. Add the crushed pineapple to the bowl with the bread and gently fold together with rubber spatula, or mixing spoon, until the pineapple and bread cubes are thoroughly mixed together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the eggs and whisk until whites and yolks are well incorporated. Whisk together the sugar and cooled melted butter with the eggs until evenly combined.
Add the egg mixture to the pineapple/bread mixture and mix with a spoon or spatula until evenly incorporated.
Pour the pineapple mixture into a 9" x 12" buttered baking pan. Sprinkle ground cinnamon evenly over the top of the pineapple stuffing.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until it is set in the middle, not jiggly, and everything is firm but not dry.
Take out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Use decent quality white sandwich bread. Breads like Wonderbread will not keep their shape when cubed and mixed, I have used bread slices from a 1 lb 4 oz loaf of bread from either Arnold Brick Oven white sandwich bread or Pepperidge Farm white sandwich bread with good results.
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