Cherry Delight was another staple of childhood. There were so many different ways to make it that we managed to not get totally sick of it like we did with some other desserts we were intensely fond of.
Take, for instance, the dessert we simply called “strawberry stuff”. I don’t remember exactly all that was in it except that involved strawberries, whipped cream, graham crackers, and walnuts, and you kept it in the freezer. It was so good that we made it all the time until I got to the point where TO THIS DAY the thought of eating it makes me say “blegh”. And it’s been at least 15 years since I last had it.
Take One of vegan Cherry Delight
Anyway, Cherry Delight was variable enough that it never went the way of the Strawberry Stuff. I never really gave much thought to veganising it, actually, until I became stumped for layered desserts that weren’t pie or crisp. In all honesty, this recipe isn’t quite right. I tested it a while ago and I had grand and glorious plans to perfect it, but I lack time to so do. So I’m going to share what I did anyway (it was good, just not quite the right texture) and later on I hope to update with a more authentic version.
This will make 2 pies if you use prepared graham cracker crusts, or a 13×9 pan with your own homemade graham cracker or cookie crust. If you want a single pie, refer to the amounts in red.
Start with your whipped cream. You’ll want 3 cups total, so if you use a prepared whip, that’s the amount you need. If you want to make your own whip, here’s what I did.
Here’s what I did.
2 (1) cups lite coconut milk (one can, plus enough water to make 2 cups)
1 (1/2) c soy milk
2/3 (1/3) cup corn starch
1 (1/2) tsp cocoanut extract
Put cornstarch in a saucepan and stir in liquid ingredients a tiny bit at a time to avoid lumpage. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened and smooth. Put into a container in the fridge and chill for around an hour. It should be partially set, but not totally gelatinous.
Take it out, put it in a food processor and process until smooth. A Vitamix would probably also work here. After I broke it up with the food processor I used my hand mixer in a bowl to whip more air into it, but using a Vitamix would probably negate that step.
In a separate bowl, beat together:
8 (4) oz softened cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
1/2 (1/4) c sugar
Beat together until smooth. I used organic sugar, so it took a little more to get the sugar dissolved than regular granulated sugar. When it’s smooth and no longer grainy, add it to the “whipped cream” mixture and beat until combine.
Divide filling evenly between 2 prepared graham cracker crusts, or your own crust in a 13×9 pan.
1 can tart pitted cherries (including juice)
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 T sugar
Spread on top of pie. Put in the fridge and chill, preferably 8 hours or overnight.
2 cups frozen or fresh mixed or solo berries instead of cherries
If you use a chocolate graham cracker crust, you can spread a layer of chocolate pudding on the top instead of fruit for a chocolate delight. Top with whipped cream when serving.