While on vacation recently on Maui, my family had lunch at award-winning Leoda’s in Olowalu, on the Honoapiliani Highway about 5 miles south of Lahaina. In addition to remarkably good burgers, sausages, and sandwiches, Leoda’s is famous throughout the Islands for their desserts and baked goods, which incorporate lots of local produce.
We enjoyed several tiny little pies with our meals, including a banana cream, an Olowalu lime, and a pineapple-apple. To this Midwesterner’s taste buds, used to all manner of apple pie treatments, this was a complete revelation! Sweet but not to put your teeth on edge; citrusy tart but not sour; satisfyingly dense but not gut-bomb heavy. I did actually say out loud in the restaurant, “why don’t we do this on the Mainland?” And conversations I’ve had with coworkers and family since then have generated much the same reaction. Talk about a delicious mix of cultures!
Back home, I consulted one of the Minnesotan holy books of baking, “Betty’s Pies Favorite Recipes” – not that she ever made a pie like this, but for advice on how to mix fruits together successfully.
By comparing several recipes, and with a bit of luck, I found this combination worked especially well. The flour and cornstarch are a bit higher than with a usual apple pie to handle the extra moisture from the pineapple. Care needs to be taken with the macadamias to prevent burning, but to give them enough time to brown and release their wonderful crunchy aroma.
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 4 cups peeled, sliced baking apples
- 2 cups (one large can) crushed pineapple (unsweetened variety preferable)
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oatmeal
- ½ cup coarsely-chopped macadamia nuts
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, in small chunks
- 1/3 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425°. Make sure your baking rack is centered in the oven to ensure even heating all around the pie.
Dice the baking apples and squeeze as much juice as practical from the can of pineapple, then combine in a large bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix well to thoroughly coat the fruit. Set aside and prepare the topping.
For the topping, in a smaller bowl mix the dry ingredients and butter until moist clumps form.
Apply non-stick spray to your pie pan and place and crimp the crust. Add the filling mixture and pack to compact. Then sprinkle the topping mixture over the filling, covering it evenly and completely, making sure the blobs of butter are well distributed.
Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°. After another 10 minutes, cover the top of the pie loosely with aluminum foil to help prevent the macadamias from scorching. Continue baking for another 35 minutes – or as long as needed for the apples to get tender and the sauce to start bubbling at the edge of the crust.
Cool 2 hours after removing from the oven; serve hot or cold. The pie will keep for a week in the refrigerator, but you’ll have polished it off well before then…