Okay so the first thing that you should know about this dish is that it was very ineptly named. It’s not much of a casserole, especially in the savory sense. It is more of a dessert and more of a bread pudding at that. SO why then do I not just call it Pineapple Bread Pudding? Well, two reasons really. The first being that my Mom used to make this every Holiday and always called it a casserole. The second is that I don’t want you to be mislead into thinking that this dish has any sort of strong pineapple flavor. It really doesn’t. I swear the only thing it gets from the pineapple is extra sweetness, texture, and moisture. And ya know, now that I think of it… maybe we just call it a casserole to make it acceptable as a side-dish???
As I mentioned above, my Mom would make this each and every Holiday- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. It was always one of our family’s favorites, particularly with the kids. My Mom isn’t much for baking or cooking and this is one of the few recipes that I have from her. For that reason alone, I really cherish it. I’m pretty sure that she got the recipe from somebody from church at a potluck or something, but for whatever reason it really stuck with her. And why not? It’s easy and delicious! What more can you ask for, especially on the Holidays…
My mom always used regular white sandwich bread for this (crusts on). She used about 10 slices or so. I can never remember, all I know is that it wasn’t the whole loaf. Personally I prefer something a little bit more flavorful so I always use King’s Hawaiian Bread. I end up using about 3/4 of the loaf.
She would use it fresh from the bag too. If she had to she would even go out and buy bread the same day for it. Again, I put my own personal twist on the recipe here and use old bread that I stale overnight in a bowl covered with just a towel. I think next time I will even use a baking sheet, that way ALL the cubes get equally exposed. Stale bread retains its shape better and absorbs the moisture more efficiently. Fresh bread always ends up kind of mushy… It’s the same principle you use with stuffing.
The amount of bread needed is very dependent with each batch. Sometimes you have more moisture in the drained pineapple than others. You pretty much have to go by the way it is looking as you add more bread. You want to add enough bread for there to be just a tiny bit of juice left. Then let it sit and absorb for a while to make sure that you added enough. After no more than 30 minutes, all the liquid should be absorbed.
For some reason this was always served with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Cinnamon and pineapple? I don’t know I think it’s kind of strange, but that’s just the way it is. Plus, like I said before, the pineapple flavor is not dominant in this dish. And the really dark spots on top of the dish are actually deep caramelization- I swear it’s not burnt. That’s actually my favorite part of the casserole.
Mmmmm, in the end you’re going to have a nice, moist ”casserole”. So sweet and yummy. Sometimes I actually cut the sugar back to 3/4 cup even, but then again it doesn’t quite taste like my Mom’s when I do that.
This is probably my favorite Holiday side-dish!! Can’t wait to make some again this season!
- 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 9-10 cups ½” bread cubes
- cinnamon, optional
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pineapple, sugar, eggs, and butter. Add enough bread cubes to soak up almost all the liquid. Pour into a casserole dish. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to let the bread soak up the mixture.
- Sprinkle mixture with cinnamon, if desired. Heat oven to 350°F and bake 1 hour.