Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cherry Cheese Pie

I've always felt a strong connection to my grandfather, Pop Maloney. Maybe it's because he also loved to bake. Maybe it's because I was born on his birthday. Whatever the reason, I'm glad to have known him, if only for a short time.
This is his recipe and it has become a staple in my family for every holiday gathering (made famous by my sister, Maureen). It's one of my all time favorite desserts!! Thanx Pop.

1 pie crust or half the recipe for Easy Pie Crust
1 can cherry pie filling
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
8 tbs sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 can evaporated milk
3 tbs flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. Line pie plate with crust. Flute the crust to make a decorative edge. Spread pie filling over bottom. Cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, milk, flour, and vanilla. Slowly pour cheese mixture over filling. Sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake for one hour or until set.

Clearly you could use any other favorite pie filling, such as raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, peach, or pineapple.
Be very careful when transporting the unbaked pie to the oven. It's super easy to spill as you walk across the kitchen with a pie filled with liquid. An easy way to prevent this is to open your oven and pull the center rack out a little so you can get to it. Before you pour the cheese mixture over the filling, place your pie plate with fruit filling on the rack. Pour your cheese mixture over the filling and sprinkle with cinnamon as usual. Then carefully slide the oven rack back in. No need to worry about spilling!
I always put a baking sheet or a sheet of foil on the rack below the pie because I have a habit of over filling the pie and it sometimes bakes over.
I always use a Pyrex pie plate, which is deeper than a regular 9" pie plate, just because I like more cherry filling in the pie. My Mom used to make 2 pies at a time, and she'd split one jar of pie filling between the two pies.

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