Nearly 25 years ago, Dom and I headed to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio for a very busy Labor Day weekend. We were there for a christening at which Dom would become a godfather for the first time. We arrived on Friday to find Dom’s Aunt Phyll cooking frantically. Stepping in to help, I learned to make cannelloni at her side from the delicate, nearly transparent crepes to the lightly sweetened pomodoro sauce. After noshing on some homemade antipasti and dago red, we hopped in the car and went visiting some other relatives before heading to the Canfield Fair for the evening. The Canfield Fair is one of Dom’s favorite events of all time; rides, animals, music and hot sausage sandwiches… what’s not to love.
The next day after a cruise through Mill Creek Park, we headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the oldest Amish settlement in America which is still flourishing while relying on horse and buggy transportation and no electricity. Their gift store was a treasure trove of handmade items. We bought a quilt (which hangs over our bed) and a pineapple pie. Neither of us had ever had a pineapple pie before, and we thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for the family we were staying with. We walked in the door with the pie and even though dinnertime was drawing near, our host, Lou, immediately dove into the pie saying that it was his absolute favorite!
Upon Dom’s receipt of a great medical report, I glanced at a fresh pineapple sitting on the counter and thought what better way to celebrate than with a pineapple pie. If I had known how easy it was to make, I would have made one much sooner.
Mix some of the pineapple juice with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Place the pineapple with the lemon juice, sugar, salt and cornstarch slurry in a pan, cook until the mixture has thickened and is no longer cloudy, but clear (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remember to keep stirring so the mixture doesn't scorch. Stir in butter and rum before removing the filling from the heat to let cool to room temperature.
Heat oven to 425 ° F. fills the pie crust mold, and put up another crust on top, pressing to close it. Make a small cut with a razor or sharp knife. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and filling shows a bit in the cut. Remove and let it cool completely.
Prepare the top shell. While a basket weave is very traditional, I used an apple corer to make holes in the top for a polka dot-style top. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream!