Pineapple Cheese Pie with Lattice Crust

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They come in pretty frequently–pineapple cheesecake recipe requests, that is. Most I’ve been asked to find call for the sticky, very-rich cream cheese we know in America, blended to smoothness with sweetened cream and pineapple and folded into a crumb crust. But old fashioned  European versions veer another way, using looser fresh cheeses as the base. One example is Pineapple Kasekuchen, with German quark cheese over pineapple in a sweetened (pate sucree) crust. But this ‘40s style Baked Pineapple Cheese Pie made with  fresh, tubbed farmers cheese (plus, optionally, a little German quark if you can find it at a Whole Foods) and cream has an unexpected pineapple glaze and lattice crust on top. A very nice American/European hybrid.

 

Makes one 10-inch pie

Crust Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Cheese filling Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb. bakers dry cottage cheese (here, use fresh, Friendship Farmers cheese–the soft kind in the tub from the dairy section. OR used 1/2 lb farmers cheese (do NOT use ricotta) mixed with 1/2 lb German quark
  • 1 Tbsp sifted flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Pineapple glaze Ingredients

  • 1 can crushed pineapple in juice, juice reserved
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp pineapple juice (have a small can of pineapple juice handy as a back-up)
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Make crust: Combine dry ingredients and sift a few times. Cut butter in with a pie blender, or two knives until it looks like fine meal. Add beaten egg and milk to form a medium dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and gather together into a ball. Flatten and divide into two portions; one with 2/3 of the dough; the other with 1/3 of the dough. Wrap each piece in plastic and chill. Roll out larger piece of dough and fit into a greased, 10-inch cake pan, leaving dough overhang to tuck and trim after you add the lattice top later. Keep smaller piece of dough in the fridge.
  2. Make cheese filling: Combine eggs with sugar and vanilla. Add cheese (and quark if using), flour, cream and lemon zest. Spread into crust. Chill.
  3. Make pineapple glaze: Drain pineapple well, reserving juice. Combine 2 Tbsp of pineapple juice with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch to make a slurry. Add to 3/4 cup pineapple juice and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Mix well and whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and glaze-like, about 8 minutes. Pour glaze over the reserved drained pineapple, mix and cool well. Remove pie from fridge and carefull spoon pineapple glaze of the cheese filling. Chill well once more.
  4. While chilling, roll out the remaining piece of pastry and cut into lattice strips. Weave these over the top of the pie, over the pineapple glaze, and tuck in edges. Flute the edge of the pie.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour in center of oven. Turn oven off and let pie rest for 15 minutes in oven. Remove pie from oven and let rest again until room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours, wrapped. Serve very cold.

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