Cranberry-Fudge Pie

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 10 servings

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Our good friend Joanna Waldman of Thetford Center, Vermont, a superb baker, asked us recently if we had a good recipe for a cranberry dark chocolate tart. No, actually, we didn't — but that's easily remedied! If you like chocolate-covered cranberries, this pie is for you.

Cranberry-Fudge Pie

star rating (20) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 10 servings
Published: 11/10/2010

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs*
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • *One cellophane-wrapped packet of graham crackers (9 whole crackers) will yield this amount of crumbs.

Filling

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate*
  • 2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup diced walnuts or pecans
  • *Resist the urge to use bittersweet chocolate; with the acidic tang of the cranberries, it's just too much. You want a dark chocolate that's noticeably sweet; most chocolate chips will be fine. We prefer Peter's Burgundy chunks.

Topping*

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, a generous 3 cups
  • *You'll need about 15 ounces (a scant 1 1/2 cups) topping for the pie. Enjoy the remainder on its own.

Tips from our bakers

  • Toasting brings out the flavor of nuts. Toast nuts in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes before using, if desired.

Directions

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1) Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2) To make the crust: Process the crackers, sugar, and melted butter in a food processor until crumbly and well combined.

3) Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan.

4) Bake the crust for about 7 to 8 minutes, until it's set, but not brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

5) To make the filling: Put the chips (or chopped chocolate) and cream in a microwave-safe container, and heat for about 90 seconds.

6) Remove from the microwave, and stir until the mixture becomes smooth and dark brown; you're simply making a basic ganache.

7) Spoon the hot ganache into the cooled crust, and sprinkle the nuts on top.

8) Refrigerate the pie for at least 1 hour, probably 2, until the ganache has firmed up.

9) While the pie is chilling, make the topping. Bring the sugar, salt, and cranberry juice to a boil.

10) Stir in the dried cranberries, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

11) Add the fresh or frozen cranberries, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until some of the berries have burst.

12) Remove the cranberries from the heat, spoon into a bowl, and chill.

13) To finish assembling the pie: Spoon 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce atop the fudge/nut filling. Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 10 rich servings.

Reviews

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  • star rating 11/29/2014
  • Susan from New york
  • My family loves this pie. I have made it for several holiday dinner gatherings and am always asked for the recipe. I have tried adding raspberries, but have found that they create too much liquid as the berries all cook down and some folks don't like having the seeds in the filing. Last time I added about a half cup of seedless raspberry jam to the mixture toward the end of cooking ( I find the berries need to cook down a bit longer than suggested) and not only do you get the raspberry flavor and a hint of sweetness, but the jam helps the filling solidify a bit better. A fabulous pie!
  • star rating 11/27/2013
  • SL from Ann Arbor, MI
  • I have made this for a couple of years now for Thanksgiving--this year when I suggested something new, my mom explicitly requested this pie. It feels like a good addition to the usual Thanksgiving desserts because it's not overly sweet, and you don't really want more than a small piece because it's so rich. Also nice for Thanksgiving is the minimal oven usage and ease of making it a day ahead. This year I am trying it with a gluten-free crust (I found a mock graham cracker crust recipe that uses almond meal) so that gluten-free guests can enjoy it as well--very easy to adapt. Thank you!
  • star rating 02/25/2012
  • grandma ikki from KAF Community
  • I debated about making this. I read some reviews and was torn. I made the pie, not exactly as written, I made more of the crust and a bit more of the Ganache and made it in a 9 inch spring form pan. I did use a bit more of the topping than the recipe called for but not all that the recipe made. (Will be saving the left over for a Chicken dinner tomorrow.) The pie was a hit. The sweet of the chocolate and the tart cranberry was a perfect balance. This would be great for anytime of year. If you are afraid to use all cranberries a blend of cranberries and tart cherries would work. A touch of almond extract would enhance the cherry flavor as well. This pie will be made again. I just might try cherries myself...maybe with toasted almonds as the nut of choice. Apricots might be good as well. Oh the possibilites are endless.
  • 12/11/2011
  • nancess from KAF Community
  • Although I love both chocolate and cranberries, this is a slightly weird combination. OK, but not exciting enough to make again. I wonder why we are told to make that amount of topping, when we need much less. I can make cranberry sauce for other purposes any time. I used a slightly smaller crust, co made half the amount of topping and it came to 2 cups, so I had plenty.
  • star rating 11/13/2011
  • Cathy M. from El Cajon, CA
  • I love this pie -- it's so easy and so tasty! I whip some of the leftover cream from the ganache (with some sugar and vanilla) and top it with that. I use a store bought graham cracker crust to save time and energy, but have used both canned and homemade cranberry sauce.
  • star rating 10/29/2011
  • rheemom from KAF Community
  • Fabulous pie! I used Pomegranate juice instead of cranberry because I always have it on hand. Also, I think it needs a dolop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top to complete the combo. I'll be sending notification out to all my friends to try this one ASAP!
  • star rating 12/27/2010
  • KLR-B from Sonoma,California
  • While very easy to prepare here are some suggestions. I have to recommend that this pie be made at least a day ahead of the event you are going to serve it at as the crust must cool then the ganache must cool in the crust then you need to cool the topping before spreading over the ganache then chill the pie before you serve it.When making the topping you're basically making cranberry jam. Take out the 15 oz. needed for the topping and process the rest in jars to give as hostess gifts at parties or to enjoy later in the year for yourself. I don't understand the need for an 1/8tsp. of salt. Try 1/2-1tsp. cinnamon instead.
  • star rating 11/29/2010
  • Kristen from NY
  • I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit! I left out the nuts (a lot of my family can't have nuts) and it was still just as fantastic. I look forward to the next occasion where I can make this pie again! It was such a hit!
  • star rating 11/28/2010
  • Kathleen from Eugene, oregon
  • There aren't enough stars to rate this. This recipe was so easy and elegant and tastes heavenly. I am so exited to find a perfect pie recipe that will always come out.
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