It‘s pie time again! The Food Librarian won December’s challenge for the “You Want Pies With That?” group. She was in charge of selecting the theme for this month and picked a great one - “Literary Pie”. I loved this theme! The teacher side of me is obsessed with books. I love children’s literature and am an avid fiction reader. Without question, my favorite genre is romance novels – hold on a minute, it’s not what you’re thinking. I don’t read the trashy kind, but only truly great love stories. Since it’s February and I’m a hopeless romantic, my pie was inspired by the greatest love story of all time…Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
This classic was written almost two hundred years ago, but still continues to be retold and remade into movies and books. Jane Austen’s themes are timeless. If you haven’t read this classic, you must and if you have, you’ll remember that Mr. Bingley is the link to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley moves to Netherfield and the reader is led to believe in the beginning that Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth fall in love. He is kind and wealthy, but not overly concerned with social status. However, Mr. Bingley is not her true love – that spot is reserved for Mr. Darcy, the prideful, arrogant person on the outside, who is overly concerned with social status. Over time Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy deal with their pride and resolve their prejudices to realize that they have found true love.
One of my favorite quotes is when Elizabeths asks Darcy to explain when he fell in love with her. He tells her, “I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” Can we ever pinpoint that exact moment of falling in love?
Okay, I know this is supposed to be about pie, right? I promise I’ll get to that. I first have to recommend my favorite contemporary version of Pride and Prejuce, Me and Mr. Darcy. It is the perfect read for February.
Now for the pie… Hopefully you got my connection Mr. BING-ley and BING cherries. This is my mom’s pie and it takes me right back to the my childhood whenever I make it.
The pie is made with a graham cracker crust, followed by two creamy layers, and topped with cherry pie filling. If you’re not a cherry fan, I’m adding a strawberry glaze topping recipe at the bottom, which is arguably better than this classic.*
Cherry Cheesecake Pie
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 15oz. can cherry pie filling
To make filling soften cream cheese; beat until fluffy. Gradually blend in sugar, lemon, salt and eggs; one at a time. Beat after each.
Pour into crust. Bake in slow oven (325 degrees) until set, 25 to 30 minutes.
Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spoon over top of pie and bake 10 minutes longer. Cool. Spread cherry pie filling on top. Chill several hours.
*Directions for strawberry cheesecake pie
3 c. fresh strawberries
1 c. water
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 c. sugar
Crush one cup of the strawberries; add the water, and cook 2 minutes. Sieve.
Mix cornstarch and sugar. Stir into hot berry mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thick and clear. Add a few drops of red food coloring. Cool to room temperature.
Place strawberries atop cooled cheesecake. Pour glaze over strawberries and chill for at least 2 hours.