Editor's Note (February 2, 2017): Instructions updated for clarity.
This easy classic dessert has existed for decades. I just added a few twists. It can be made with a pie crust or graham cracker crust. If using a baked pie crust, cool at least 15 minutes before adding cream cheese mixture. Also, after making cream cheese mixture cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before placing in cooled pie crust. Otherwise, the filling will start to melt. After arranging cherries on top of pie, lightly sprinkled with sugar. I refrigerate the completed pie until firmly chilled (about 45 minutes). Makes one 9" pie.
Prepare crust and set aside. Let cool 15 minutes before filling.
In large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to mix heavy whipping cream until creamy. This will take about 10 minutes. Add cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Use electric mixer to evenly combine until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Pour into prepared pie crust. Spread evenly with back of a spoon. Open cans of pie filling. Use a teaspoon to remove cherries. Arrange in a nice circular pattern around the pie. Drizzle top of cherries with filling. Cover pie with foil. Place in freezer until semi-frozen. Depending on the type of freezer, this could take 30 minutes to one hour. Check frequently. If preferred, place in refrigerator until firmly chilled.