Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cherry Snowflake Pie

Did you ever have that Raspberry Snowflake Pie way back when?  It used to be one of our Thanksgiving traditions, but we eventually decided several things:

a) The pie was much too sweet.
b) The pie didn't hold any shape.
c) The raspberry seeds got stuck in our teeth.

This last Thanksgiving, I had a hankering for the pie again, however, I wanted to make a few changes - hopefully for the better.  I decided to:

a) Cut out a bunch of sweetness.
b) Add unflavored gelatin to the cream cheese layer to help it hold its shape.
c) Change the pie filling to cherry to eliminate the "seedy" problem. 

All in all, these changes had a great effect on the pie and my family gave it excellent marks.  This pie will definitely be going back on our traditional Thanksgiving menu!

As a side note, I also thought that this pie would make a lovely wintry Valentines Day special dessert for that special someone in your life!  You could even get really creative and cut the round "snowflake" into a heart shape.  Then, you could lay out the cherries in a matching heart shape on the top of the pie.  Please send me some pictures if you try this, I would love to see them!

P.S. As you can tell from the pictures, I forgot to dust the top of the snowflake with powdered sugar.  Next time!

P.S.S. You can also probably tell from the pictures that the left side of the snowflake broke.  Make sure to handle with care, the snowflake is very delicate! 

Cherry Snowflake Pie

  • 1 15 oz Refrigerated Pie Crust (or a bottom and top homemade crust)
  • 1 21 oz can cherry fruit pie filling
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 package unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 of a 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (7-ish ounces)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Prepare one pie crust as directed on package using 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool.  Next, to make snowflake crust, unfold remaining crust onto ungreased cookie sheet; press out fold lines.  Cut crust into 7 1/2 inch diameter round; discard scraps.  Refold round into fourths on cookie sheet. With knife, cut designs from folded and curved edges; discard scraps.  I tried to be as creative as I could by using a knife to cut designs and also a large cake tip to cut small circles.  Unfold your snowflake.  Bake on the cookie sheet for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp.  Cool completely.

Now to fill the pie.  Add the unflavored gelatin to the water and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the cherry pie filling; spoon remaining filling into baked, cooled shell.  In large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add softened unflavored gelatin and beat well.  Add sweetened condensed milk; mix well.  Add lemon juice and almond extract; mix well again.  It doesn't hurt this filling to get extra air into it.  Spoon cream cheese filling over cherry pie filling in crust.  Refrigerate at least one hour.

To decorate the top, spoon reserved cherry pie filling around edge of pie.  I thought it looked nice to arrange the cherries fairly evenly around the edge.  Place snowflake crust over top, balancing on the cherries.  Refrigerate the pie for several hours.  Sprinkle the pie with powdered sugar just before serving.

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