Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lemon Cherry Sunset Pie

This has been a post I've been wanting to write for a long time, and in a moment, you'll see what I mean.  About five years ago I bought a GT Express after seeing an infomercial.  If you don't know what that is, it's a cooking device that you plug in, and it has two wells in which food cooks.  I bought it, well, because I'm a sucker for gadgets, but I thought my girls were old enough at that time to make stuffed burritos in it, vegan grilled cheese, etc.  We've used them quite a bit.  I also posted a recipe for GT Express Pizzas  where you can see a photo of what one looks like.  Anyhow, the product came with a booklet of recipes, hardly any of which, of course, are vegan.  So, I've had fun tweaking them to see if I can change them up.  I have been working on their Lemon Cherry Pies recipe for over a year.  I've actually posted a photo of their original recipe for you to see.  And, I thought it might interest some of you how I create a recipe on my own.  Granted, I got the inspiration from their name, but as you'll see, my notes look nothing like their original.  Anyways, the pie has been tested multiple times on my family, and I've changed it and changed it again.  Most recently, my parents got in on the testing act, and everyone agreed that it's finally ready to post.  One of my challenges was to make sure the fillings were soft like the canned versions, so not too firm. The end result is a creamy, unique pie flavor that I think you'll really like.  Let me know what you think!  (By the way, I often spend several tries trying to get a recipe right before posting it.  I just thought of finally posting that process for fun.)

Lemon Cherry Sunset Pie

This is the original recipe.  Notice just three ingredients are required.  Since we don't eat colorings or corn syrup, the pie fillings were out.  Even if there ends up being a more "natural" brand out there, I wanted to make this from scratch.  Also, I don't use refrigerated pie crust, so I knew I couldn't use the GT Express.  This would be baked in a regular pie pan.

Here are my notes to create my recipe.  The pink slip on the left is actually my sweet pie crust recipe I use for a double crust pie that I just halved for this recipe.  Don't you just love how I keep recipes for myself?  The sheet on the right is the birth of the Lemon Cherry Sunset Pie.  Lots of tweaks and changes over a period of about ten attempts at making this pie.

Finally, a slice of Lemon Cherry Sunset Pie!  At last.

Lemon Cherry Sunset Pie



1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup cold (stick) vegan margarine, cubed small
3 Tbs. cold water
Flour for rolling out crust
(Beans or rice for weighing down)

Pie Filling:

1/2 cup vegan sugar
2 Tbs. corn starch
1/3 cup water
1 and 1/2 cups frozen cherries, halved
1 and 1/2 pkgs. (12oz. each) of silken firm tofu
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup vegan sugar


Crust:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor with the pastry blade installed, add the flour, salt, sugar and margarine.  Run the machine until blended and it looks like pastry granules.  With the machine running, pour the water into the feeder hole.  Run until the dough clumps up together; it's perfect if it sort of balls up.  If you need to add a few drops of water more, do so with restraint.  [Alternately, you can put the first ingredients into a bowl and mix with a pastry cutter or fork.  Then mix well with the water.]  On a lightly floured surface, roll out your crust evenly into a circle large enough to cover your pie pan, about nine inches across.  Lightly fold your crust over in half and lift to the pie pan.  Carefully unfold and lightly press into the pan, making sure that all parts of the pan are covered by crust.  If you've got sections of crust hanging over the edge of the pan and other areas that are missing crust, simply cut away one part and press onto the other.  Take a paring knife and run it along the edge of the pan, removing any uneven crust edges.  Then pinch the crust edge between your fingers creating a scalloped look.  Lay a piece of wax paper on the bottom of the crust and cover it with a layer of beans or rice to weigh it down. You are prebaking the crust at this stage.   Bake for 15 minutes.  Pour off the beans or rice into a bowl - these are still good to prepare in a later meal.  Discard the wax paper.  Cool the crust on a cooling rack.

Pie Filling:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch and water.  Add the cherries, and turn the heat on to medium.  Heat to boiling, which will take five to seven minutes, stirring frequently to constantly.  Watch carefully, for this will thicken up quickly.  When it thickens, remove from heat and cool down.  After about a half hour, chill cherry filling in refrigerator until needed later.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While the cherries are chilling, prepare the lemon filling.  Using the food processor again, this time with the cutting blade, add the tofu, turmeric, lemon extract, and sugar.  Blend until well mixed, at least a minute.  You are looking for a completely smooth texture.  Pour the  lemon filling into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes.  Cool on rack for a half hour, then chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator, longer if you have the time.  Take the pie crust with the lemon filling out of the fridge, as well as the cherry filling.  Carefully layer the cherry filling on top of the lemon filling...and...chill again, for at least 30 minutes.  The longer you can chill, the better this will set up.  This will still be soft when cutting, so use a gentle hand.  If some cherry topping slides off during the slicing process, deftly replace it, and no one will suspect a thing.  A unique flavor, one that my family loves, and I hope you do too.  A beautiful end result.  Feeds five hungry vegans and a couple of grandparents.


  1. Very pretty pie! And I think I'd be able to decipher your notes just fine because mine look exactly the same. I started keeping mine in a notebook to be more organized but the format didn't improve much. :) I've never heard of a GT Express but everyone who reads your post will be glad YOU did!

  2. This is amazing! Wow. When I saw the title I had one thing in my mind and then the picture is soooo much greater. Well, I have to try this.

    Thanks so much for commenting on my guest post on Sweet 2 Eat Baking. Lisa is looking for more guest posts....would you like to do one? Here's the link...

    Also, I host Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hops. Would love it if you'd stop by .... Blessings,
    Ducks ‘n a Row

  3. A beautiful recipe just in time for the holiday weekend.

  4. It's got to feel great to work so hard on a recipe and get it right! Yours looks perfect and sounds really delicious.

  5. Andrea, aw, thanks! I keep most of my favorite self-created recipes in a manila folder in a drawer in my kitchen, that always gets caught and bent or torn when I open or close it. I should probably find an alternative. :-)

    Sinea, thanks for stopping by and offering all these options! I'll have to take some time and check those things out. That's so sweet of you.

    SV, well, thank you!

    Molly, it does feel good to finally get something right. There are many times when I just hang up my spatula and give up because a recipe's not working the way I want it to.

  6. I love seeing a recipe in the making! almost cooler than the delicious looking pie.

  7. FF, thanks! I thought it would be fun to show, so I'm glad you like it. :-)

  8. Yum! Looks delicious. How many tries does it normally take for you to get a recipe just right?

  9. Sage, thanks. It really depends on the recipe I'm trying to make. Sometimes I'm lucky and get it right on the first or second try. But, it's not unheard of for me to try five or more times before I really like it.

  10. That is a divine pie. it looks marvelous.