Looking for a pie that will sweep your family off their feet and fill their bellies with homemade love? This vintage double-crusted pineapple pie recipe — an original from Grateful Ventures chef and food stylist Debbie Elder — is a present-day dessert adventure that has nostalgic beginnings.
Do a web search for “vintage double-crusted pineapple pie” and you’ll find references to a 1950s advertisement for Pillsbury Pie Crust Mix that included a pineapple pie recipe. In a perfectly fifties fashion, the ad says, “Please your man with a homemade pie like this.” But whether you’re making it for someone else or just for yourself, this is one must-try pie.
Over time, this basic pineapple pie recipe with a box mix crust was significantly improved — additional filling ingredients and a homemade crust — and published in a 1960s Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes cookbook. Elder’s mom added her own special touches to this unusual dessert and became well-known in their rural Kansas community for her unparalleled pineapple pie.
“My mother owned a convenience store, and served this pie frequently at its small in-store lunch counter,” says Elder. “Everyone loved it because it had such a unique flavor that many had never tasted.”
What made Elder’s family pie so special? Her mom made the fabulously flaky and flavorful crust with rendered leaf lard from their own pigs.
“Since we lived in the country and my dad raised heritage Duroc pigs, I knew that my mother used a combination of the lard from those pigs plus butter in her pie crusts,” she recalls. “I had tried boxed lard from the grocery store, but it did not measure up to my mother’s pie crusts.”
Leaf lard transforms the conventional pie made with butter crust into a truly transcendent dessert experience.
Elder, who was heartbroken to learn her mother’s pineapple pie recipe had been lost, went on a mission to recreate this beloved dessert.
She tracked down the aforementioned Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, a leaf lard crust recipe from Kate McDermott’s Art of the Pie cookbook, and a butcher shop in Phoenix that sells leaf lard. “On my first attempt to make another pineapple pie with leaf lard and butter, I was amazed at how easily and beautifully the crust rolled out,” she recounts.
The pie crust recipe also yielded an abundant amount of dough for making both the top and bottom crusts. “After the pie was baked, we enjoyed a taste test and the dough was super flaky, buttery, with a hint of the aromas I knew as a child,” she continues. “The taste immediately took me back to memories of my childhood days on the farm. This was the delicious pie my mother used to make.”
We love this scrumptiously cherished pineapple pie, and we guarantee that your family will, too!
In a medium-sized saucepan over low heat, combine pineapple, granulated sugar, tapioca, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir together and cook for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and set aside
Stir vanilla into the pineapple mixture and remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside.
Make an egg wash
In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water. The egg wash is brushed on the pie dough before baking. Set it aside.
Make a pastry cutout design
Place a small disk of leftover pie dough on parchment paper and roll it out. Use a large pineapple cookie cutter to create a pastry design for the top of the pie.
Pour pineapple filling into the prepared pie plate
Fit a pastry dough snugly into a pie plate. Pour pineapple filling into the dough until it reaches 1/2 an inch from the top of the pie plate. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Cover with a top crust
Place the second rolled-out pastry dough over the pie plate. Trim the overhang and crimp the edges of the dough, giving it a fluted look. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash.
Decoratively finish the pie
Brush the pineapple cutout with egg wash and set it on the center of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut 4–6 slits on the top crust around the pineapple. These slits will allow steam to escape while the pie is baking. Using the sharp knife, score a crisscross pattern on the body of the pineapple. The last touch is a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar on the top crust. The coarse grains of turbinado sugar will keep their shape and give the pie a glittery finish.
Bake the pie
Bake the pie at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top crust is crisp and lightly browned. Let the pie cool for 15 to 30 minutes to let the filling set. Serve.
This pie has a beautiful vintage look
Caramelized sugar on top gives a nice crunch
The pineapple design on top really stands out
Flakey buttery crust and luscious pineapple are a fantastic pairing
Two 20-ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve 1/2 cup of juice)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, divided into 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons (cut into fourths)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
Pastry for 2 crusts, save leftover dough after the pie is trimmed*
2 tablespoons turbinado cane sugar
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine pineapple, juice, granulated sugar, tapioca, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir together and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in vanilla and remove saucepan from heat. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, make an egg wash by whisking together egg white and water. Set aside.
Place small disk of leftover dough on parchment paper. Roll dough out with a rolling pin and use a large pineapple-shaped cookie cutter to create pastry design for the center of pie.
Using pre-filled dough-lined pie plate, add filling, pouring it to 1/2-inch from top of pie plate. Dot top of filling with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Place second rolled-out pie dough over top of filling. Trim and flute edges.
Brush egg wash over top crust and all over pineapple cutout. Place pineapple dough cutout in the center of pie. Using a sharp knife, cut 4–6 slits in top crust around pineapple design to allow steam to escape while the pie is baking. Lightly score pineapple with a crisscross pattern.
Sprinkle top crust with turbinado sugar.
Bake pie for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is brown and crispy.
Remove pie from oven and cool for 15 to 30 minutes to allow filling to set.