Today is Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs… We did the ham, the toddler had some chocolate and we enjoyed doing an egg hunt for him after lunch. But, I wanted the lunch dessert to be special yet not too heavy or fattening. I wanted an attractive pie, with fruit in it and was hoping to make something easy. A tall bill to fill for sure. Upon some reflection I remembered a family dessert from a few years ago. I am not sure why I stopped baking it other than I am gluten free and my dieting sisters balk at heavy cream in any recipe. It was not that fattening if you look at just a slice, not the whole cup of cream in the pie!
It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple
My sisters forked it down as they are cherry lovers, my aging mom ate every scrap and the kids were happy to eat large slices. So I thought I should share it, you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.
I like it in the spring, seems somehow appropriate and there isn’t much fresh fruit available to make a decent pie. You could make it the night before or early in the morning. I did it this morning before church and it was chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.
Cherry Sunrise Pie
One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes. Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before.
Ingredients for filling
18 or 19 oz can of crushed pineapple in own juice
1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling
1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice! I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth. Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling. If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries. Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.
Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it. If it gets clumpy you went too far. Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.
Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom. I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula. I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust. Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out. Finally, use a spoon to put clumps of pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling. Chill at least 2 hours, preferably 4. Cut and slice. No adornments are needed.
It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet. Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat. Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!