End of Summer Pie

I baked this pie on the last day of summer vacation. It’s funny how, when school used to start in September, the “summer” felt like it was going strong all through August. Now that school starts barely more than halfway through August, people around here consider the beginning of August to be the end of summer. Advertising companies pick up on it too, and start advertising fall fashions and such as soon as school lets out in early June.

Personally, I plan on enjoying the summer as long as possible. Even if my vacation is over, the best season of the year is not. I’m going to keep wearing sandals, going to the beach, and eating pineapple as long as it can be found fresh in stores.

This pineapple strawberry pie brings back fond memories of that tropical vacation (which I read about or saw in a movie but never really went on) – sometimes undue nostalgia is the best kind! Seriously, I do hope to travel to some exotic island someday, and taste their fresh tropical fare. For now, I’ll just have to settle for buying Costa Rican or Hawaiian pineapples at my local grocery store and dreaming of the day school will be out again for summer…if that day will ever come…

pineapple strawberry coconut cranberry pie with graham cracker crust

Pineapple is great for so many things. For one, it makes a great decorative item in a fruit basket.Once you slice it open, it graduates from an awesome decoration to a delicious and healthy edible! Eat it fresh, swirl it into a smoothie…or get ambitious and bake a pie with it.

I’ve never heard of a pineapple pie before, but I figured, why not? Pineapple is just another fruit, why not try it in a pie? I found the resulting deliciousness to be quite satisfactory. The pineapple and strawberry flavors are sweet and fruity, the coconut and cranberries add more texture, and the graham cracker crust really ties the whole thing together as far as flavor goes. This pie turned out a lot like my recent sorbet cupcakes: messy, but worth it! Take one bite, and be instantly transported to a tropical island.

slice of pineapple coconut cranberry strawberry pie graham cracker crust

As far as desserts go, this pie is healthier than most generic desserts. The graham cracker crust is made with whole grains and yogurt for protein. The fruit provides fiber and all those other innumerable good things in fruit. And the main sweetener for the body of the pie was agave syrup, which has a lower glycemic index than sugar. This is extremely low-calorie as pie goes: 1/8 of the pie is only 200 calories! (No yucky “diet” products in the recipe, it just turned out that way!)

I suggest topping this baby with a cold scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and maybe a maraschino cherry or two. You deserve it – it’s been a long back-to-school season. And it’s summer – you gotta enjoy your tropical fruits while you can!

This recipe uses three cups of pineapple. If you cut up a whole, full-size pineapple, you will have a couple cups left over. I recommend freezing these in chunk form for smoothies later on when it really is fall and (shudder) winter.

Pineapple Strawberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

based on this recipe on SparkRecipes

makes one 9 ” round pie (8 – 16 servings)

pie pineapple coconut strawberry cranberry graham cracker crust

Ingredients:

for crust

  • 6 Honey Maid honey graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 3 tbls brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbls plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Open Nature brand)

for filling

  • 1 1/2 tbls Earth Balance original buttery spread
  • 1/4 cup organic light agave syrup
  • splash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp Smucker’s brand Simply Fruit apricot jam
  • 3 cups pineapple chunks
  • 6 strawberries, sliced into little pieces
  • 3/4 cup water

for topping

  • 1 tbl Earth Balance original buttery spread, melted in microwave
  • 1/2 tbl organic light agave syrup
  • 2 tbls whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbls sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 tbls dried cranberries

Directions:

For graham cracker crust: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a 9″ round pie pan with aluminum foil. (I didn’t spray mine with nonstick spray, but this may be beneficial as it is kind of hard to remove from the pan after baking.)

In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, and yogurt. Mix thoroughly.

Press this mixture into pie pan evenly, reaching all the edges. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and set aside.

For pie filling: Place Earth Balance and agave syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until Earth Balance melts. Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, apricot jam, pineapple chunks, strawberry pieces, and water. heat to boiling. Boil for one minute, stirring occasionally.

Pour the pie filling, liquid included, into graham cracker crust. Set aside for just a minute while you make the all-important…

Topping: In a small bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, coconut, agave and melted Earth Balance. Sprinkle this topping as evenly as possible over the pie filling.

Put it in the oven! Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.

The aroma of Hawaii will surround you as you eagerly pull this pie from the oven, cut a wedge and savor your first bite! (Lei-wearing optional.)

Don’t you just love the smell of pie fresh from the oven?

graham cracker crust pineapple pie with coconut, cranberry, strawberry

No matter how great it smells, the taste is even better!

pie slice pineapple strawberry cranberry coconut with a graham cracker crust

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