Friday, November 18, 2011

Pie Week Day 5: Cherry Cheesecake Pie

If you are only going to make one pie this holiday season this is the pie to make.  It is beautiful and delicious requiring only a reasonable amount of work.  

My mom got this recipe out of a Women's Day magazine a few years ago and we have been enjoying it ever since. 

As you can see the Women's Day pie also has almonds around the top. 

1.  You don't have to put the lattice crust on top.  It is an extra step and sometimes you just don't have time for an extra step.  I usually don't add it.  It is a lovely pie without it.

2.  Did you know there are a lot of cherry pie haters out there?  If you family hates cherry pie than switch out the cherry pie filling and replace it with blueberry, peach or what ever you like.  

3.  The almond extract really makes this pie amazing.  It is worth buying a bottle of almond extract if you don't have any.  (I personally LOVE almond extract and put it in all kinds of baked goods.  It is amazing in sugar cookies. )

4.  If you have a deep dish pie plate use it for this pie.  If you don't you'll be okay but if you do it give you just enough extra room that everything fits in perfect.  

Cherry Cheesecake Pie 
adapted from  Women's Day

1 box (15 oz) refrigerated ready to bake pie crusts (or make your own)
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 bricks (8 oz each) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
White from 1 large egg, in a small bowl
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1. Heat oven to 350.  Have ready a 9 inch pie plate.

2. Fit 1 crust into pie plate.  Unroll or unfold remaining crust on a cutting board; cut in 1/2 inch wide strips.  Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.

3. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Add cream cheese; beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth.  On low speed, beat in egg and extract until just blended.

4. Spread batter evenly in crust; spoon pie filling evenly over top.  Beat egg white with a fork until foamy.  Brush on pastry strips.  Arrange about 8 strips evenly spaced across pie filling.  Place 8 more strips diagonally over first strips to form a lattice (discard remaining stips).  (I only use about 4 across each way.)  Trim and press ends to bottom crust. Brush rim with egg white; press on almonds.

Twist strips than place on the pie.  Start with the middle strip.

Place the second strip croswise.

Add remaining strips

Be sure to dot the strips with milk or egg white. This will help them brown nicely.

5 Bake 50 to 60 minutes until crust is golden brown and cherries bubble.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

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