In one week it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs… We are skipping ham in favor of shrimp risotto and roasted asparagus; my sweet grandchildren live out of state so no egg hunts and minimal chocolate. As for any holiday meal, I wanted the lunch dessert to be special yet not too heavy or fattening. I wanted an attractive pie, with fruit, easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but doable if you make this dessert. I had no hesitation in choosing a dessert I make many years for Easter: cherry sunrise pie. The other day my sister asked me to make it for the big meal this year and then she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie. No need to look further, this is it, the dessert of choice for Easter Sunday lunch for my family! They always fork it down as they are cherry lovers plus my sisters love how light it tastes. I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert. You should make it the night before so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.
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 yet so delightful.
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; it has a softening setting for cream cheese which works perfectly. 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!
I have no pictures of creating this pie; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.