Originally called “Cheese Cake Cherry Pie” (with cheesecake being two words), this recipe was an entry into one of the old Pillsbury Bake-Offs. I’m not exactly sure which year it was entered, but the recipe has been updated and revised multiple times since then. Some versions use cherry pie filling and others use a graham cracker crust. My version of “Cherry Cheesecake Pie” is close to the original. It has a shortbread crust and a filling made with canned or jarred cherries mixed with sugar and flour and cooked over the stove.
I first posted this recipe in 2007 and have altered it in the past 8 or so years. These days I make it in my Emile Henry pie plate. It is a deep dish plate, so the crust doesn’t go all the way up the sides.
The original recipe called for a No. 2 can of cherries. A No. 2 can generally indicates 20 ounces, but today’s cans of cherries run between 14 and 16 oz. Rather than buy two full cans, I use Trader Joe’s brand cherries which come in a 24 oz jar. It doesn’t really matter what type you use so long as you can render 6 ounces of liquid and have at least 1 1/2 cups of solid cherries to stir in.
After making a shortbread crust and spreading it with your easy homemade cherry pie filling, you beat together a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla and spread that over the cherries leaving a gap in the middle. I think the original gap was for aesthetic purposes because the original version did not get topped or garnished with whipped cream.
Here’s what it looks like after it’s been baked and cooled. In my opinion, it definitely needs some garnish.
In this case I didn’t feel like breaking out the decorating bag and piping the whipped cream so I just spread it over the top and added some cherries and graham cracker crumbs.
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (increase to 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (4.5 oz)
- 20 ounces of canned sour (tart) cherries (See note)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, optional
- 6 oz softened cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch pie dish.
- Make the crust first. Beat together butter, 2 tbsp sugar and salt. Add flour; blend well. Dampen fingers with a little water and press mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 9" round pie pan. If using a deep dish pie dish, only press about 2/3 of the way up the sides -- just enough to build a little wall.
- Filling: Drain cherries and set them aside, reserving 3/4 cup of liquid. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tbsp flour in sauce pan. Add the 3/4 cup liquid; mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Taste, and if not tart enough add lemon juice. Stir in cherries and pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
- Topping: While crust and cherries bake, combine softened cream cheese and sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until thick.
- Spread cheesecake topping over partially baked pie, leaving a 3 inch circle in the middle. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool completely and chill thoroughly. Spread or pipe whipped cream over the top.