Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pineapple Souffle

One of my favorite things about the holiday season, and there are many, is the music! I love Christmas music with all my heart. Will doesn't share this enthusiasm, though I do know he likes the Mariah Carey classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Don't tell him I told you.  I'm kidding, he's totally going to read this.

Anyhow, I have my favorite versions of just about every song. For instance, I have a special place in my heart for Barry Manilow's rendition of "Jingle Bells." I can hear the judgment already. Whatevs, Manilow makes my heart go pitter patter. Part of it stems from this Christmas tape my sister had that we listened to religiously during Christmas season. Yes, I said tape.  This was when every car still came with a tape player. We loved that tape.  f you want a laugh, check this out. It gets me every time.

Did you know Justin Bieber has a Christmas album? I previewed it on iTunes for a lark. Normally I'm okay with the Biebs. I'm not a huge fan, but I'll dance to that one song. But this Christmas album is a travesty. I can't even deal. The tonic to this album illness is Michael Buble's Christmas album. In fact, I'm going to Target this week just so I can get the extended version. It's got the vibe I want when I listen to holiday music. I don't like when pop artists do holiday songs; it just sounds weird to me.  I like the old school Rat Pack sound. And Barry Manilow.

This pineapple souffle is the antithesis of Bieber. No offense to him. I'd hate for his legion of fans to come after me. But this is old school. It's a family recipe that calls for white bread and lots of butter.  It's sweet and crunchy on top and beloved by the whole family. It's also a breeze to make.

You need nine slices of white bread and a stick and a half of butter. Just don't think about it, okay? Live in the moment.
Cut your bread into cubes. Bread is always easiest to cut with a serrated knife.

Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. I don't suppose it has to be nonstick, but it's probably easier this way.

 Oh dear Lord. Look at all that butter.  I want to bathe in it.

Add your bread to the pan and "lightly fry it." Those are the words of the recipe. Let that idea soak in. Fried white bread.

Toss the bread around to coat all the pieces with butter. Let it fry until it's just barely golden brown in spots. Take it off the heat and make the pineapple mix.

The pineapple mix consists of all-purpose flour, eggs, sugar, and crushed pineapple in juice. I'd avoid pineapple in syrup since we're making an already sort of sweet fruit even sweeter with sugar. Syrup might put it over the top. I'm pretty sure I used a 20 oz can. Let's be real, there aren't that many size options. The recipe specifies a medium size can, so I went with the one that was neither small nor large. Medium.

Mix it all together in a bowl. Seriously, that's it. The recipe calls for a handful of flour, so I just stuck my hand in the flour, grabbed a handful, and tossed it in.

Pour half the pineapple mix in a greased casserole/souffle dish.

Add about half the fried bread, top with the rest of the pineapple, and complete with the cycle with the rest of the bread. So it's pineapple-bread-pineapple-bread. Ta-da!  Bake at 350º for about an hour.

My goodness that's lovely. The pineapple thickens up and bubbles, and the bread on top gets crispy crunchy.

Here it is on our table at Thanksgiving. There wasn't much left by the time we got through with it, although I did manage to sneak some home for leftovers. I seriously can't express how much I love this dish. It's the physical manifestation of a holiday for me. Please, please, please make this for Christmas!

Pineapple Souffle (serves up to 10)

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
9 slices white bread, cubed
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 handful all-purpose flour
1 medium size can crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits, juice and all
  • Preheat oven to 350º. In a nonstick pan over medium heat, fry bread cubes in butter lightly until slightly golden brown. Take off of heat.
  • Stir together sugar, eggs, flour, and pineapple with juice.  
  • Put half of pineapple mixture in a greased casserole dish. Add a layer of bread, the rest of the mixture, and top with the rest of the bread. Bake 1 hour or until golden and bubbling.  Serve warm.

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