We Tried Johnny Cash’s Family Recipe for Pineapple Pie

Everybody loves their Mom's cooking—even celebrities. Johnny Cash was lucky enough to have a mother who made him this fabulous pineapple pie. Like southern iced tea, this sugary, fruity pie will make that sweet tooth sing.

Born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi, I often miss the Southern traditions and dishes like fried chicken, hush puppies, Mississippi mud pie, chicken and dumplings, and sweet tea—and now, pineapple pie! No matter where you’re from, one Southern thing tends to resonate with most everyone, and that’s the musical talent (and general coolness) of Mr. Johnny Cash.

When my daughter was just four, she knew all of the words to “Folsom Prison Blues,” which my husband and I treated as a prestigious parenting win. Maybe it wasn’t our best parenting moment, but I love exposing her to Southern traditions, like those that Reese Witherspoon touts (ICYMI: check out this recipe from her latest book). So, when given the opportunity to try Mama Cash’s pineapple pie recipe, I was in. Ready to see what happened?

Jennifer Schwarzkopf for Taste of Home

Johnny Cash’s Mama’s Pineapple Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (learn how to make your own!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Initial Thoughts

After setting up my mise en place, I realized that this pineapple pie was going to be sweet. I mean sweeter than sweet! It might just pair nicely with a black cup of coffee for an afternoon tea time. I was concerned that the crushed pineapple juice might make the crust too wet, so I made a plan to hold back the bulk of the juice when mixing ingredients, watching the consistency closely, and adding as I mixed.

Jennifer Schwarzkopf for Taste of Home

The Filling

After softening the butter a bit, I beat all ingredients together in one large bowl. I used a stand mixer, however, you can use a hand mixer or whisk if you’re up for the arm workout. Once mixed well, I poured the ingredients into the empty, slightly defrosted pie crust. (Check out the instructions on your particular pie crust, if using a frozen, pre-made version.)

Baking

I then put the pie in the preheated oven at 350° and set the timer for 50 minutes. A bit concerned about the sugary goodness bubbling everywhere, I put an older sheet pan on the rack below and waited in anticipation as my home increasingly filled with the scent of sweet, tropical warmth. (And luckily, there was no bubble-over or mess to clean up.)

Jennifer Schwarzkopf for Taste of Home

The Outcome

After 50 minutes, the pie had a lovely golden brown hue around the outside of the filling and the pie was mostly set, with just a little jiggle in the middle. After cooling for a few minutes, the pie maintained its shape (in spite of adding most of the crushed pineapple juice).

Finally, it was time for a taste test. The pie was sweet (but not overly so), thick in body, and delicious. With a glass of milk or black coffee, the pie is just perfect as a little afternoon pick-me-up. Pretty in presentation and lovely in taste, I highly recommend this recipe from Johnny Cash’s own mother. Enjoy!

Up next: See more down-home foods Johnny Cash loved.

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Jennifer Schwarzkopf
Half Chilean, half Irish descent and all joie de vivre, I'm a food writer/photographer who loves to share stories about different cultures and the magic that is sharing a meal together. When not doing that, you'll find me working on my culinary degree, hanging with family & friends, and just trying to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Salud!