This month’s You Want Pies With That? challenge was to create a pie based on holiday music. Something that immediately makes me think of the really awful cringe-inducers piped into every store: Wham’s “Last Christmas,” Madonna’s “Santa Baby,” Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Any Christmas carol performed by a child, cartoon character, 80s band or Muppet.

Then, there are some holiday musical abominations that kinda work. I always get a laugh–a poignant laugh– out of seeing Bing Crosy and David Bowie doing “Little Drummer Boy.” And Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis.” And I always sing along with “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Thus inspired, I forged this Mele Kalikimaka Pie.

Wha? Huh? I KNOW! I didn’t grow up singing “Mele Kalikimaka,” either. But Jeff and I got married in Hawaii on New Year’s Eve, and that Christmas season, it seemed like Bing Crosby was singing “Mele Kalikimaka” EVERY TIME we turned on the radio: “Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say/On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day/That’s the island greeting that we send to you/From the land where palm trees swayyyyyy.”

Like the song, the pie is a delicious abomination of traditional holiday ingredients and Hawaiian favorites. Apples, brown sugar and cinnamon meet macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut. And cream cheese. And IT WORKS! Aloha, Hula-Hips!  

Mele Kalikimaka Pie

Rebecca Crump (

Adapted from MiMi Hodge’s Candy Apple Pie


  • 1 frozen deep-dish pie crust
  • 3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 12 ounces canned sliced pineapple, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
    Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut
  1. Follow package directions for baking frozen deep-dish pie crust. Cool. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples, pineapple and dried cherries; stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until fruit is softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice, vanilla and coconut extract and beat for 1 minute or until fully blended. Pour over fruit filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.