Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

As kids we ate Del Monte peas, carrots, green beans from a can. I have no memory of fresh zucchini, broccoli, eggplant or beets ever appearing on our plates. My mother didn’t like to cook, though she was raised picking from her father’s garden—golden corn and juicy tomatoes, lettuces grown green and fresh, fava beans brought from the old country. She fancied herself a modern woman, or perhaps, she just didn’t have the time or inclination, after running around after five young children all day.
She was known for her cherry cream cheese pie though—a blend of whipped cream cheese, condensed milk, half-cup of sugar, teaspoon of vanilla, poured into a Crisco-rich, flaky crust, then left to set in the fridge for a few hours, after which topped with a can of cherry pie filling and chilled again. Made mainly for holidays or occasional Sunday dinner when all seven of us sat at the rarely-used dining room table, after grace had been said, after the white linen tablecloth had been lifted, after a platter of chicken cacciatore had been placed at the center of the table. Or, better yet everyone’s favorite, a deep dish lasagna with sauce made from scratch, her mother’s recipe. Iceberg lettuce with scallions and hard, tasteless tomatoes for a salad, with a spoonful of those canned peas or creamed corn, as go-alongs—a portion of each was mandatory, if you were to be granted a piece of that glistening pie. When it was finally lifted out of the Amana, tart and sweet, an added dollop of whipped cream spooned on top and the first bite taken, oh, the transportation into another dimension of dessert heaven. The mushy peas and tasteless salad, the interminable wait…all were forgiven.
I found a recipe on the internet just now. Think I’ll stop by the store tomorrow, pick up cherries and cream cheese, a pre-made pie crust, try my luck. I’ll make it for no particular occasion, lift a piece in tribute to honor my mother, to Gemma, the original.

P.S. Yes, I know the photo shows the crust made with graham-crackers and she made it with a standard pie crust, just couldn’t find an image with the correct crust.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s