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Scalloped pineapple is a casserole dish that features crushed pineapple, bread cubes, and sugar. This may be served with any accompanying meat dish that is both sweet and savory, such as ham, grilled pork chops, and barbecued chicken.
This dish is similar in texture and preparation to a bread pudding. The pineapple, butter, and sugar combine together to form a sweet, glazed filling. It is allowed to crystallize in the oven around soft, warm bread cubes that absorb the fruity cooking juices during the baking process.
The primary ingredients used in scalloped pineapple are butter, sugar, eggs, pineapple, and bread cubes. Any type of bread may be used, but thicker breads tend to absorb more of the pineapple juices during the cooking process without becoming soggy. Sweet, white breads, such as Hawaiian or friendship bread, can be used to complement the other sweet flavors that comprise this dish. The cubes can be seasoned with spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and toasted prior to use in the casserole to add both texture and flavor to the dish.
The bread crumbs, once cubed and toasted, are typically placed into the casserole dish as a first layer. The additional ingredients are then creamed together and poured over top. These items may be layered separately, or blended together and poured in at the same time, depending on the taste preferences of the chef. Once all of the ingredients have been placed into the casserole dish, it is placed in a preheated oven until the top mixture is set through and the crust has taken on a golden brown appearance.
The pineapple juice in which the crushed pieces are preserved is typically reserved and added to the central filling mixture prior to baking. Lemon juice may also be used in addition to the pineapple juice to add a citrus note, if serving during the spring or summer. Bourbon and vanilla may be similarly used to add depth and warmth to the light, sweet, candy-like nature of scalloped pineapple.
The scalloped pineapple casserole is traditionally served with garnishments on top to complete its appearance. Sliced rings of pineapple may be layered on top of the casserole during the last five to ten minutes of the baking process. This allows the fruits to brown slightly and begin to release their juices. Once removed from the oven, small maraschino cherries can be placed inside the center of each pineapple ring. The dish may also be pre-sliced and sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar before being placed beside the plate of each dinner guest.
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