Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cran-Apple Dream Pie

 The other night we were having friends over for dinner. Hubby was fixing his delicious Chicken Curry with a lot of spice so I decided to create a creamy yet refreshing pie with a holiday flare. although there are several steps, this really is an easy peasy and so yummy pie, well worth the little bit of time put into making it. The cranberries can be rough chopped in the blender or food processor. Save yourself the headache of trying to chop each little cranberry or chasing them around the counter or floor. It's amazing the places you will find them later. ;-)
I used crumbs created from stale doughnuts that I cubed and lightly toasted before turning to crumbs as part of my crust ingredients but there are more possibilities such as crumbed short bread cookies, or the regular graham cracker crust. So I'm stating graham cracker crumbs in the recipe, but be creative! I never let anything go to waste, so if cookies are getting a bit dry or the same with cake, I just cube or crumble them up and dry them in the oven so I can use them for sweet crumb crusts later.
This pie has two main layers, one a creamy dreamy whipped cream cheese and whipped cream layer with a touch of grated orange peel. The other a fresh chopped cranberries and apples in jello. I used cherry jello as I didn't have raspberry, but try either and see which you like better. Cherry was very good, but I really want to try raspberry next time. Okay enough of this nonsense, on to the recipe!

Serves 8
1 1/2 c. sweet crumbs from graham crackers or shortbread cookies
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
In a 9" pie plate combine ingredients and press onto bottom and up the sides of the dish. In a pre-heated 350 degree oven bake for 5 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped, buy a pint container of whipping cream so you have some for topping as well.
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1-2 t. greated orange rind
1/2 - 3/4 c. powdered sugar, to taste
In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange rind, mix well. Gently fold in whipped cream until fully incorporated. Don't beat heavily as whipped cream will lose it's stiffness and the creamy filling will be too soft. Spread into the cooled crust and let set in the refrigerator while preparing jello layer. 
1- 3 oz. box Cherry or Raspberry Jello
1 c. boiling water
3/4 c. cold water
1 c. each chopped apple and cranberries
1/2 c. sugar
In a medium size bowl combine jello, sugar and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add cold water and let soft set in refrigerator. Add fruit and stir gently. Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer in pie plate. Let set until firm, about 1-2 hours.

1 1/2 c. whipping cream
3-4 T. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl combine ingredients and whip until soft stiff peaks form. Add a dollup to each piece of pie when served.

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