To welcome the New Year I always bake a Cherry Cheese Pie, which is eaten on New Year’s Eve. It is a firmly established tradition in my family to eat it accompanied by a glass of Proseco to the sounds on TV of ringing bells and fireworks after the last stroke of midnight.
In Germany, New Year’s Eve is called Silvesterabend. The ancient Romans always celebrated their New Year on 1st of March, but with the advent of Christianity, the Gregorian Calendar moved New Year’s Eve to 31st of December in honour of Pope Silvester 1st who died on that day.I am sharing this fool-proof recipe which I am calling Silvester Cherry Cheese Pie with all my friends. I am afraid I cannot acknowledge the source of this dessert. I can only say that I copied the recipe from one of the many women’s magazines – Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, Chatelaine – during my student days in Canada in the 60s. The bottom pie crust is not the original one which called for crushed cornflakes or Graham cracker crumbs. I cannot get Graham cracker crumbs in Germany and I do not eat cornflakes. The pie crust which contains chopped walnuts possibly came from an advertisement in one of the magazines mentioned.
Walnut Pie Crust
1¼ cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. Unprocessed sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts (or almonds, or pecans)
½ cup softened butter (1 stick)
Mix flour, cinnamon, chopped nuts, sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter. Rub into coarse crumbs. Pat firmly and evenly onto 9½ inch pie plate. Leave in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Walnut crust crumbs
Line fluted pie plate by patting firmly with hands. Chill.
Cream Cheese Filling
½ lb. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
¼ cup lemon juice
2 eggs, medium sized
½ cup fine caster sugar
½ cup dairy sour cream
Mix cream cheese well with lemon juice.
Beat eggs slightly with a fork. Add sugar and mix well.
Fold in sour cream.
Combine egg and cheese mixtures. Strain.
Pour into chilled crust and bake at 350 F for about 30 mins. Or until metal knife inserted into cheese filling comes out clean.
1 lb. can sour cherries
4 tbsp (or more) sugar
½ cup cherry juice (from can)
2-3 tsp cornstarch
Drain cherries. Measure juice. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a pan. Stir in juice. Cook over low heat until thickened. Add cherries. Cool before spreading over chilled cheese pie.