Cherry Sunrise Pie for Easter

Next Sunday is Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candy eggs which I can’t eat and brightly colored eggs to hide for the three year old to find. I want our lunch dessert to be special yet not too heavy or fattening.  I want an attractive pie, with fruit in it and was hoping to make something easy.  I plan to have my cherry sunrise pie again; it was a big hit last Easter.

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are ready made crusts out there that will make this so simple.  Frey’s Better Foods and Wegmans both have gf. graham cracker crust all ready to fill; so convenient.

I like this in the spring when 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 will post a picture of an individual slice this Easter when we enjoy it for lunch dessert; we gobbled it all down last year before I thought of taking a picture of just one slice.

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Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: bought ready-made or DIY.  I make 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.  You can make it a day ahead of time to shorten the work of putting together the actual pie.

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

Directions

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!

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