Pineapple. Cheese. Butter. And… SUGAR? Yes, you heard me. Along with a buttery Ritz cracker topping, this casserole is a delight of what some may find an unthinkable combination of foods. Haha I know that I certainly did at first…
On some levels I really like to push my food experiences. For example, with this casserole. After stumbling upon it, I took a minute and thought, “look at all the great reviews it received- there has go to be something to this!” And even before I actually got the chance to make it, somebody ironically brought it to the weekly potluck at my church group. It was soooooo goood! It immediately went on my “to-do” list.
I decided to use Paula Deen’s version since it was rated with 5-stars and had a TON of great reviews. But I really didn’t like her exact recipe. I halved it since I was only making it for myself, but I don’t think it made a difference in the outcome. Instead of a full cup of sugar, I slightly decreased it as many of the reviewers recommended. Not a lot, but just enough so it was straight cheese-syrup. I kept the flour as I found out that it was an essential thickening agent in the ‘syrup’. The whole thing kind of melts into a buttery, sugary, cheesy delight with this delicious liquid, which really ends up just like a syrup. It’s pretty darn yummy. Please, please, pleasssse use freshly shredded cheese though! The pre-shredded kind is coated with cornstarch and doesn’t melt well. Really, do yourself that favor.
Personally, I enjoyed this dish a lot and will be adding it to my Easter Dinner rotation. It is such a great side dish to ham! Anything sweet really goes well with pork. Like maple syrup with sausage or bacon…Mmmmmm. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
- 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
- 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
adapted from Paula Deen