Thursday, March 27, 2008

Birthday Pie

In response to Da Troll’s challenge to come up with a pie to celebrate Secretariat’s birthday on this Sunday, March 30th, I thought I would present to you one of my all-time favorite pies. Y’all most likely know this one. It’s scandalously easy, and oh-so-cheesy and I mean that figuratively, like, in a very 1970s way.

Lately, I've been on this 1970s kick. The fashion, the décor. Trans Ams. Famolares. Farrah Fawcett hair. Those little round, bright yellow radios on chains – remember those? – playing Terry Jacks' "Season in the Sun" over and over and over. AND, Secretariat was born in 1970. So there you have it. The ‘70s were simply fab.

Anyway, I was introduced to the weird deliciousness of Pistachio Pineapple Pie by one of my Aunts, my father’s youngest sister, a woman of exceptional patience and humor who each summer for several years had the dubious honor of hosting me, my brother, my father, and my bazillion cousins at her house in Massachusetts. How this woman put up with all our happy asses for two whole months, camped out as we were on her back lawn, running savage through the neighborhood, eating her out of house and home, I’ll never know. I should ask her one day. I wouldn’t be surprised if her answer was: “Percoset.” She did, after all, work for a dentist for a while.

At any rate, one of her favorite things to do with us was bake. Seriously. Five bazillion of us kids in her kitchen at one time, only two of us girls, making, among other things, this pie. And when it was finished, she’d mock-screech at us: “Now out of my hair and my kitchen, you little horrors [it always came out hah-ruhs – she may have been living in suburban New England bliss, but she was NYC born ‘n’ raised]. No pie for you until after dinner.”

And although I am posting this recipe in honor of a birth, I must also tell you one other association I have with this dessert. It was the pie we ate in silent solemnity the night my uncle came home, eyes rimmed red, his face slack, to tell us that Elvis Presley had just died.


1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 four person-serving package of instant pistachio-flavored Jell-O pudding
1 16 oz. tub Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust, preferably homemade, but whatever, for 9" round pie pan
1 cup whipped cream, whipped up until stiff and fluffy, with two tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped pistachios, unsalted

In a large mixing bowl, stir together pineapple with juice and Cool Whip. Sprinkle in pudding, a little at a time, and whip well to avoid lumps. Poor into crust. Put in refrigerator and let set until firm, 2-3 hours. Top with the whipped cream and chopped pistachios.


Anonymous Boxer said...

Good enough for a horse AND me.

I love the pineapple and pistachio combo. Hmmmm....

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Noooo...pineapple *and* pistachio?

OK. I'm in.

The Troll said...

Wow, I'd never have dreamed about combining those things. But it sounds awesome. Very imaginative.

iamnot said...

Sounds great.
Love the story behind it.

moi said...

AB: Well, it seems it's gonna be YOUR birthday, too! How awesome is that? It's too late for Moi to bake this and send your way, but you know I would if I could. But I'm sure I'll think of something :o)

Pirate: A flavor combo with quite the tropical punch, don't cha know!

Troll: Huh, I woulda thunk this were a popular pie down your way.

iamnot: Moi's famblee's culinary legacy is weird but wonderful.

she said...

wow! even i might find success with this one. er, the elvis pie on any other occasion besides elvis' death. the two p's mmmmmmmm.

what is famolares? and can i wear some puka shells to it? grrrherhahaha

i can so see your sense of humor being partly honed by a percoCettin' new yawk auntie!

she said...

no i meant secretariats pie on any other occasion.....

moi said...


To wear with a wrap skirt and Danskin top.

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EmmaK said...

hallo my dear....still waiting for the muffin recipe. I tried one from the Desperate Housewives Cookbook but the muffins turned out with the consistency of rubber balls. over- mixing no doubt (my four year old was helping)...maybe this is God's way of telling me to stop eating cakes?? any help would be gratefully received.