Tag Archives: easy dessert recipes

Mom’s Black Forest Cherry Pie

My mother makes this no-bake Black Forest Cherry Pie. It’s good. So good, in fact, she won the pie contest at the company picnic back in the day – three years running. Until, that is, someone complained that she always won the pie contest and they told her she couldn’t enter this pie anymore. Some people are sore losers. Personally, I say if the crowd votes it Best Pie then it’s obviously a fan favorite. I can vouch that it was always a family favorite, as well.

Here’s how you can make it for your family:
1 store-bought chocolate graham cracker crust
1 package cream cheese (8-oz.) at room temperature
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups homemade whipped cream or Cool-Whip
1 can cherry pie filling (21 oz.)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate sauce (my addition)
Additional whipped cream, for garnish

Begin by making your own whipped cream (lightly sweetened) or thawing your Cool-Whip. Next, place the softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat one minute more. Remove from the mixer and gently fold the prepared whipped cream or Cool-Whip into the creamed cheese mixture until well combined.

In another bowl, combine the cherry pie filling, almond extract and shredded coconut. Gently fold the pie filling mixture into the whipped cream/cream cheese mixture until thoroughly incorporated. You’ll want to work slowly and gently to keep the whipped cream mixture from deflating. Once combined, spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust and spread it to the edges.

To decorate, use a pastry bag and pipe additional whipped cream around the edges. Pop your pie into the freezer until it is completely firm, then remove from the freezer and pour your favorite chocolate sauce over the entire pie to form a thin layer on top. This is where the piped whipped cream comes in handy – it creates a nice edge to hold all that chocolate goodness in place. For the photos, I drizzled. When it came time to eat the pie, I ladled on the chocolate sauce using the “more is more” rule of chocolate saucing. I’m a baaaaad girl. :)

This pie serves 8 regular folks, 10 dainty eaters, or 4 ‘screw it – it’s the holidays’ foodies. It should be kept refrigerated and can be made in advance and frozen. Just pop it uncovered into the freezer until firm, then cover it with plastic wrap. To serve, remove it from the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and allow it to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving. Leftovers (if there are any) will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Thanks, Mom! (again)

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A Recipe Review: A Sweet Pea Chef’s Easy Crème Brulée

Food bloggers amaze me. Their dedication to cooking, staging and documenting recipes knocks me out. How do they do it day after day after day? My fellow blogger Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef is one of those amazing people. Browsing her recipes and photos is like browsing through food porn. It is a glorious, guilty pleasure. But my favorite thing about Lacey’s blog is that her recipes are not just pretty. They are easy to understand, easy to prepare, and unbelievably tasty. She’s the real deal. She loves to cook and she happily shares that love with her readers. It’s just one of the many reasons I love her beautiful blog.

Every once in a while, Lacey will post a food poll, letting her readers choose recipes or topics that will be covered at a future date. One such poll featured possible dessert recipes. Choices included crème brulée, carrot cake cheesecake, lemon bars, oatmeal raisin cookies and cranberry sorbet. I was intrigued by the carrot cake cheesecake, but I voted for crème brulée. Several times {wink}. Why? Because I love simple foods with tremendous flavor, and crème brulée is one of those foods. Four ingredients. Full of flavor. Out of this world texture. I’m in.

The recipe says “easy” and by golly, she wasn’t kidding. You combine 4 ingredients, pour them into ramekins and bake them in a water bath. The cast of characters include 5 egg yolks, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. For this recipe, I broke out the good stuff – the pure vanilla bean paste. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you have to. This recipe is perfect for it. If I were making a chocolate cake, I would most definitely use the regular vanilla extract. But for this dish, the good stuff really shines.

Once your little pots of creme are baked and cooled, it’s decision time. You can stop here and just enjoy this as an incredible custard, or you can pour some sugar on it and brulée those puppies. I’m going whole hog. Conveniently, TCP just happens to have one of those baby blow torches. “Break out the blow torch, honey! I’m gonna’ burn some sugar, Sugar!” Fingers crossed that I don’t burn the house down. Oven mitt? Check. Fire extinguisher? Check. Let’s roll!

The verdict: this stuff is almost too good to be true. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make, it makes me a little angry at all those hoity-toity restaurants that charge $12.50 a serving for it. Shame on them. Deep, money-grubbing shame. Thanks to Lacey, I can now make fabulous crème brulée at home. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Good because this recipe is really fantastic. Bad because I really shouldn’t have the power to make this all the time. I’m having a vision of “Good Nana” and “Bad Nana” sitting on each shoulder screaming at each other. (Secretly, I’m rooting for Bad Nana. Go, Bad Nana! You go with your bad self!)

To see this recipe with all of the glorious step-by-step photos, visit Lacey’s blog at: http://www.asweetpeachef.com/sweets/easy-creme-brulee/

PS – A very special thank you to Katie at Lucky Girl Sweets ‘n Stuff. She selected my name for her first giveaway last week, which happened to be those super cute red ramekins. They look just like miniature Le Crueset Dutch ovens. They are too stinkin’ cute, and perfect for crème brulée. Thanks, Katie! I love them. You should click on the link above and drop in on her. She’s a feisty Texan like me. And tell her I said “howdy!”

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