Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chocolate Ganache Pie with Candied Cranberries

For my first official "dessert" post I thought I'd share a new recipe that I tried for Christmas.  I discovered this recipe in the "Home Life" magazine. (*Home Life is a Lifeway publication we get at our church; great magazine...check it out.)

Anyway, back to the pie... Here's the recipe:
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided use
1 (12 oz. pkg) fresh cranberries
9 inch pie crust (*I prefer homemade*)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 (1 oz) semisweet chocolate squares (*bakers brand)

In a medium saucepan, combine water and 2 cups of sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Let boil for 60 seconds.  Remove pan from heat and cool a few minutes without stirring.  (You can carefully shake or swirl the pan, but stirring at this point will cause the sugar to form crystals.)  Add cranberries to the sugar mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Weight the berries with a plate or flat lid (*My teapot fit into this saucepan perfectly*) and let them sit, submerged, until mixture is completely cool, several hours, or over night.

Drain cranberries in a colander placed over a bowl to catch the syrup.   Reserve syrup.  Place cranberries on wax paper or foil and let them dry.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar and toss gently to coat well.  (*I did this in a ziplock bag*)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a 9 inch pie pan with pie crust.  Prick bottom with a fork and line bottom and edges with foil.  Add pie weights (or 2 cups of pintos or rice) and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove crust from oven and remove pie weights.  Immediately sprinkle warm pie crust with chocolate chips.  After 1 minute, use a knife to spread the melted chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the crust.  (*Confession:  This did not work so well for me and truthfully, I don't think it would have made a huge difference if I had skipped this step.*)
While crust is baking, prepare filling.  Place heavy chipping cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate squares (chop them up first.  They'll melt faster) and stir continuously until chocolate melts. 

 When chocolate appears to be completely melted, remove pan from heat and stir with a metal whisk for 2 minutes.  Pour mixture into pie crust on top of melted chocolate chips.  Allow pie to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until filling is firm, about 2 hours.
Top pie with candied cranberries and drizzle with some of the reserved syrup.  And voila!
This pie is rich and chocolatey and fabulous and delicious!  It takes a long time to make, but it's totally worth it!  I took it to my husband's family Christmas and it was a winner.  One aunt said, "That was so good that I won't need chocolate again for a month."  It is VERY rich.  The cranberries help to cut down on that richness.  If you're like me and you LOVE chocolate, then please go, RUN, make this pie!  I know I'll be making it again!

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