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Treasured Family Recipes from Staff: Pineapple Casserole

Don't knock it till you've tried it.

That's what I would tell folks about Pineapple Casserole, a classic (if a little obscure) Southern dish that we love to fix for the holidays.  It's one of the traditional recipes from my husband's family, but I've also found it in some local cookbooks.  And like so many Southern recipes, this casserole is so bad, it's good!

The combination of canned pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker crust may sound a little strange, but it's oh so delicious.  To keep fat and calories a little in check, opt for reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, reduced-fat Ritz crackers, and Splenda instead of sugar.

Pineapple Casserole

2 20 oz cans pineapple chunks (in juice, NOT syrup), drained (reserve 6 Tbsp juice)

1 1/3 cup sugar

5 Tbsp flour

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, combine sugar, flour, and reserved pineapple juice.  Add pineapple chunks and toss well to combine.  Spoon pineapple mixture into casserole dish and top with shredded cheese.

Combine crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter.  Spread Ritz cracker topping evenly on top of pineapple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.