This pie was inspired by a trip to Briermere Farms in Long Island, New York on a trip to see family. While their recipe is a store/family secret, we tried to come up with a proper homage we can enjoy on the West Coast between visits. The farm makes this with all types of fruit; fresh, in jam, and cooked in a compote like this. Feel free to experiment.
Cherry Cream Pie
Makes one pie
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ pint heavy cream
1 graham cracker crust or a blind baked basic pie dough shell, cooled
2-3 cups pitted cherries
1 whole vanilla bean split
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup water to wet sugar
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water to cover, allow to dissolve
In a saucepan place sugar, water, butter and vanilla bean. Heat on medium high heat swirling pan until medium caramel color appears and all sugar is dissolved. Add cherries to stop caramel cooking and stir. Lumps of caramel may form, but will dissolve if you continue cooking. Cook until fruit begins releasing juices. Add vanilla. When cherries are soft but still retain shape add cornstarch mixture. Cook 1-2 minutes until compote thickens, stirring gently. Remove from heat and cool.
Cream together the softened cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and extracts. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon the mixture into the piecrust. Refrigerate for at least an hour and ideally several hours. Top with cooled compote.
You will have extra compote, ideal for pancakes or sundaes!