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Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie

Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie

While this pie may sound like something that you could have found in a diner 50 years ago (and maybe you could have), it turned out not only to be much better than I ever anticipated, but to be one of the most enjoyable pies I’ve had in recent memory. The flavors were vibrant and well-balanced, the pie looked beautiful and it was quite easy to prepare. To put it in a word, it looked and tasted fun.

The pie starts with a prebaked pie shell – homemade, of course – and is filled with a cooked buttermilk/pineapple filling. I opted for canned pineapple because it is easy to work with and it’s convenient to be able to use some of the canning juice (not syrup, just juice) in the pie filling. The pudding is nice and thick, but not too rich. I think that the tangy buttermilk and tangy pineapple complement each other well and balance the sweetness of the filling (although I should note that it really isn’t all that sweet on its own; most of the sweetness comes from the pineapple).

Since the pie is a bit retro, I decided to go with a somewhat retro meringue recipe that I had jotted down. Ordinarily, I would use a cooked meringue because I find them to be the most stable and the least likely to weep or to pull away from the sides of a pie. This meringue recipe calls for the preparation of a thick cornstarch mixture that is added to beaten egg whites to stabilize them. The method is a bit odd, but the results were great and the meringue had a fantastic texture and held up very well even after a couple of days in the fridge.

That said, I can’t quite say the same for the pie crust, as some juices will definitely ooze from the filling from the juicy pineapple pieces in there. The bottom crust will get a bit soggy on the exposed edges if they sit in juice. I recommend using a pie gate to hold everything together if you’re going to be storing the sliced pie to ensure that the crust stays nice and flaky, otherwise just try to get everything eaten within a day or two for the absolute best results.

Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie Slice

Pineapple Buttermilk Meringue Pie
1 9-in pie crust (homemade), prebaked
20-oz can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from canned pineapple)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F.
Drain can of crushed pineapple and reserve 1/2 cup of pineapple juice (listed in ingredients above as a reminder not to discard the juice!).
In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in pineapple, reserved pineapple juice, buttermilk, egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir well, then turn on the stove to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. It will have a lemon curd type of consistency with slow bubbles when it is done.
Cover pan and cool to room temperature.

While filling cools, prepare the meringue.
In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and becomes clear. Cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar, followed by the cooled cornstarch mixture (add in dollops with mixer on medium speed). Beat in vanilla extract.

Pour cooled pie filling into baked pie shell. Top with meringue, spreading it to the edges of the pie crust to cover the filling completely. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake pie at 375F for 10-12 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Pie may also be put under the broiler to brown.
Cool, then refrigerate before serving.

Makes 1 pie; serves 8-10.

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  • Cheryl Harlow
    May 2, 2008

    I don’t know where you learned to put meringue on a pies. I have been making lemon meringue for 40+ years and always put the meringue on a HOT filling. It is a trick to make the meringue while cooking the filling. Pour the hot filling in the cooked prepared pie shell, apply the meringue and place in the oven for cooking.
    Be sure when applying the meringue it is sealed to the edge of the crust, the filling won’t bubble out during baking.

    Also if you can feel the sugar granules between your fingers your meringue will have sugar form on top after the pie sits to cool.


  • Nicole
    May 3, 2008

    Cheryl – I usually do use meringue with a hot filling for lemon meringue, but not for this particular type of pie. The reason is that the meringue is not cooked in the oven, just browned, so it doesn’t really matter if the filling is hot going in because it isn’t going to heat up (much, if at all) in such a short period of time and neither is the meringue going to further “cook” all the way through.
    You could skip the baking step entirely here and use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue with the same results, so the filling does not need to be hot.

  • Laura Rebecca
    May 3, 2008

    Wow, this looks great!

  • Your opening made me smile because as soon as saw the title in my reader, I thought you were posting on an old recipe. My grandmother (who is 99 now) used to make a similar pie, so I’m sure it was popular in diners back in the day. It’s looks wonderfully comforting and delicious.

  • bunny
    May 5, 2008

    my husband is gonna love this pie, he loves anything pineapple,i’ve never seen a pineapple meringue pie before. this looks very good , i will be making this. thank you.

  • Helen
    May 6, 2008

    Mmmm…this sounds devine! I will be trying – thank you for posting! hx

  • Ashley
    May 11, 2008

    Wow that pie is just gorgeous! I’ve never seen such perfect meringue. And I’ve never heard of pineapple buttermilk pie. Another recipe of yours I must try!

  • Suzer
    December 5, 2008

    Amazing! I’ve had this bookmarked since you posted it and finally made it today. It is beautiful!

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