Todd and I are really into the show Top Chef, so as I made this pie today, I pretended I was making it for the judges. In my mind, I have a script of what I think Tom, Padma and maybe Ted Allen would say. But suddenly, I interrupt the script and say “Stop! Don’t you see? This pie’s got deep roots!” My girlfriends order it from Furr’s Cafeteria and serve it at Thanksgiving. My step-grandmother, who lived on a farm and killed her own chickens, served it at Christmas and my husband, who is from Connecticut and who was not exposed as a child, went crazy over it the first time he tried it. So I make it…..but never the same way. Over the years I’ve learned two things. I don’t like it with coconut and I prefer the nuts sprinkled on top rather than mixed in as the traditional version dictates. Since I leave the nuts out of the filling, I add a little sour cream to counteract the sweetness from the condensed milk. Below is the version I made today. If you are from one of the southern states, no doubt you have your own.
Graham Cracker Crust:
20 graham cracker squares (10 rectangles)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted, chopped and cooled
4 tablespoons butter
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 (8 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups Cool Whip or slightly sweetened fresh whipped cream
1/2 cup sliced Maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry after being sliced (optional)
1/2 cup pecans halves, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place crackers, sugar and pecans in food processor and process into crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse to moisten crumbs. Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 9 inch glass pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely before making filling.
Prepare filling. In a mixing bowl, stir together condensed milk, sour cream, lemon juice, pineapple, and Cool Whip. Carefully add the cut up cherries, making sure they have been patted dry. Or skip them completely. Pour filling into a pie crust and chill for 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle chopped, toasted pecans over top.
Make about 8 servings