Cherry Sunrise Pie…an Easter Family Tradition

In a week it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs…. As for any holiday meal, I want dessert to be special yet not too heavy: an attractive fruit-based pie, but easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but this cherry sunrise pie checks off all those requirements.  Last time my sisters came for Easter Kaen asked me to make it for the big meal and she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie! 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.cherry sunrise 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 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. Or buy one; they sell them at holiday times in the gluten free area in my local supermarket and at the local natural food store. Will save time to buy one…

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can 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

Directions

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 pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill

photo 1 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.

This is about the sixth time I have blogged this recipe; first was in 2014. Been making it for like 20 years!

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

I was looking for a simple Thai curry without using curry pastes to flavor it. I was thinking some coconut milk for great flavor and I found a few recipes. I blended two or three together to make the best Thai chicken curry I have ever created. I loaded it with fresh vegetables and love it’s clean fresh flavor. And I hope you will too. You can use different vegetables – what you have and what you like. I found the amount of sauce to be perfect, actually ate it with a big spoon so I could get every soupy bit!

Notes: Please use full fat coconut milk for the correct consistency and flavor. I used boneless chicken thighs. It could be easily made with boneless split chicken breasts. I let Joe eat most of the hot pepper rings, to each his own. I do like how it makes it sing with a bit of controlled heat. Do not leave the fish sauce out; you won’t even know it is in there, but it really enhances the flavor. Enjoy!

Not a great picture at all but I wanted to post this recipe so here it is! Trust me it is delicious.

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

Ingredients

2 Tbsp mild olive oil

1.5-2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1/2-2/3 cup chopped onion

1 large carrot peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal: 1/4 inch width

1 large red pepper cut in long strips and then cut the strips in half

2 cloves of garlic pressed

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger grated (I freeze mine and it grates well that way)

1/3 of a jalapeno pepper or a red chili pepper of the heat you prefer, slice in narrow rings, remove seeds

1 can full fat coconut soup, shake it up before opening

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

Zest a lime and then juice it (need 2 Tbsp lime juice)

1 cup asparagus stems snapped into 1.5-inch lengths. If it won’t snap; pitch the rest of each stalk.

2 cups of baby spinach washed and drained

More lime – wedges to squeeze over each dish

Instructions: Prep work of cutting up all veggies into small pieces as described and similar lengths other than chopped onions which will be smaller. Prep work of cutting boneless thighs into halves or thirds depending on size. I would leave breasts the half size, so they don’t overcook. A whole breast would be too big. Split in half is perfect I am thinking.

I used a 15-inch-wide paella pan, mine is nonstick and gives me the room for all the veggies in this dish. Just use a large sauté pan that will hold everything. Heat it a few minutes, add 1 tbsp of the mild oil. When it is hot add the chicken. Brown it for 3 minutes on each side and then use tongs to remove them to a plate. Add the other tbsp. oil and then the onion when the pan is fairly hot. Turn the heat to medium low and cook until starting to get soft 4 minutes (stir it as it cooks so no burnt onion bits). Add carrot slices and red pepper strips; cook another 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, grated ginger, garlic, stir well, add the coconut milk, stir well as it gets hot, stop just before a boil ensues. Return the chicken thighs to the pan and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, cook 5 minutes, nestle the asparagus spears into the sauce and cover it again. Add the lime juice and zest and the spinach leaves after 5 more minutes, keep covered. By now the asparagus should be soft enough to stick in a fork. If not, cook another minute. The spinach just needs to wilt; it will continue to do that even after you turn off the heat.

If you like cilantro throw on a third of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro at the end, we don’t so I didn’t. If you can get Thai basil, use that instead! I can only find it if I grow it myself. So summer is the season for Thai basil. Great hot basil taste which is perfect in Thai curries.

Serve this curry over hot Jasmine rice. I make mine in a sauce pan that I cut a brown paper bag circle to fit between the pot and the tight-fitting lid, it should overhang by an inch or so; the paper liner keeps liquid from escaping and drying out the rice before it is done. Or make it in your Instant Pot. I made a full cup of uncooked rice, and it was just about the perfect amount of rice. Enjoy!

Another less than stellar photograph. Not sure why but I think I was so eager to dig in I didn’t bother to tidy up the plate. I will take a new one next time I make it.