Friday, December 10, 2010

Cranberry Fudge Pie

Red fruits are my favorite-strawberries, cherries and cranberries.  Also, when it comes to pies and these particular fruits, cherry is the only one that I prefer in a baked pie.  The others I serve cold as a topping on cheesecake or as a cold pie.

This particular pie recipe is unique in the combination of cranberry and fudge. Since cranberries are so acidic, you have to be careful about the amount and richness of the chocolate that is used.  White chocolate or bittersweet chocolate would diminish the cranberry flavor. The semi-sweet chocolate ganache was right on the mark. 

You will find the recipe to be very easy.  The end result is a very elegant and decadent pie, which is perfect for the holidays. Also, it does not take a big slice to satisfy, so you can get 8-10 servings instead of the normal 6-7 slices you would get out of a baked pie.

Cranberry Fudge Pie
adapted from King Arthur Flour  

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup cranberry juice
6 tbs melted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together confectioners sugar, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 9 inch pie pan, completely covering bottom and sides evenly.  Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes until set.  Remove pan to let cool and turn off oven.

To make the filling, you will need to heat up water in the bottom pan of a double boiler.  Once the water comes to a boil, fill top pan of boiler with heavy cream and chocolate chips. Stir mixture until chips have melted and cream is no longer separate.  This will take about 4-5 minutes.

Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the graham cracker crust in the pie pan.  Smooth until chocolate is level in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle nuts evenly over the bottom.  Place pan in fridge to cool for 2 hours

While pan is cooling, you can make the filling.  In a small saucepan mix granulated sugar, salt and cranberry juice.  Set stove to temperature to medium high and place saucepan over heat.  Bring to a boil and then turn temperature down to medium.  Add the dried cranberries and let cook for about 5 minutes.

Then add the whole cranberries and let cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Most of the berries would have burst in the cooking process and the mixture should have started to thicken.  Pour mixture in a heat resistant bowl and place bowl in fridge to cool.

Once the graham cracker/chocolate pan has chilled for 2 hours, the cranberry filling should be cool enough to use.  Spoon the cranberry filling on top of the chocolate nut layer.  Smooth out the filling and make sure that it covers all the chocolate/nut layer. Place pan back in fridge for at least 1 hour prior to serving.