According to Dictionary.com, the definition of serendipity is this:
1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.
I made a pie for New Year’s Eve that J and I have been calling “the serendipity pie”. I’ll explain. My dad gave me a can of cherry pie filling for Christmas. It’s not the only thing he gave me for Christmas, just one of several things he gave me in a food basket filled with things he knows the kids like such as pickles and Chex Mix (my kids are weird). When I was unloading the basket in the kitchen, including the cherry pie filling, I remarked to J that it was odd that he included it but that I was sure I’d make good use of it. In the meantime, J was standing right next my mother’s recipe box. She passed away many years ago and I usually keep one of her recipes, in her handwriting, out where I can see it so I feel close to her in the kitchen. The recipe that I had pulled out to display for a while was for “French Cherry Pie”, calling for one can of cherry pie filling. J said “it’s serendipity”, so I had to make the pie.
I’m still working on making my pie crusts pretty. They’re quite tasty, though, and my friends were amazed that I made a homemade pie crust at all, so I don’t really care what they look like for the most part. I’ll keep working on it, though. I used the same pastry recipe as the one for my apple tarts. As for the pie itself, this came out of my mother’s recipe box and is in her handwriting, so I have no idea what the origins of the recipe are, although I doubt she came up with it herself. She probably copied it from a friend or magazine and this is verbatim from her notes.
French Cherry Pie
3 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can cherry pie filling
(omit almond if any other fruit is used)
Soften cream cheese to room temperature. Cream together cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Fold stiffly beaten whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Pour into baked 9″ pie shell and spread evenly. Cover with pie filling and chill 24 hours. Serve cold.
It was a little time consuming but overall an easy pie to make. It was delicious, too. Almond isn’t always my favorite flavor but I went ahead and used it because I made the pie the way Mom wrote it down. It was subtle and worked well with the cherries, so I’ll leave it in when I make it again. Let me know if you try “Serendipity Pie”.