The main and side dishes were taken care of at the Christmas parties we were attending, so I decided that I would contribute some "goodies": gingerbread cookies, turtles, and eggnog. This pie was an afterthought. The night before we loaded up and hit the road, I discovered a forgotten pie shell in my freezer. "Ooooh." I thought. "I should fill that with something yummy and bake it to share with the families this weekend." And that's just what I did. Last minute baking. This recipe was inspired by a Cranberry Chocolate Nut Pie that I found in the September 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I already had all of the ingredients on hand, and this came together in a flash. Just combine everything in a bowl, dump into a pie shell and bake. I'm so glad that I made this. It was wonderful. Kind of like a Derby Pie...with a festive twist! The tartness of the dried cranberry in this pie played perfectly against the sweet gooey texture, the chocolate chips, and the nutty pecan finish. Topped with whipped cream, I was head over heels for this recipe!
Before you begin, soak 3/4 cup of dried cranberries in 1/2 cup of orange juice for an hour or more.
Then melt and cool 1/3 cup of butter. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 3 eggs.
Stir in 3/4 cup of flour and a cup of finely chopped pecans.
Followed by the soaked cranberries and 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into an un-baked pie shell.
Slide it into a pre-heated oven and bake for 65 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 30 minutes, if needed, to prevent the top from getting too dark.
This baked up beautifully, except for that pecan crater that formed on the bottom right section of the pie (as seen in the picture above).
Here's a closer look at that:
Oh well. It adds character. My advice, if this happens to your pie....top that slice with extra whipped cream. No one will be the wiser. : )
Chill the pie for an hour or so (mine chilled overnight) then slice it up...
Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup brandy or orange juice
1 Single-Crust Pie Pastry
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (heaping, if you like) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped Cream (optional) for garnish
1. In small bowl combine dried cranberries and OJ or brandy. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. In medium bowl whisk together butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Stir in pecans, flour and chocolate chips until just combined. Stir in cranberries/OJ mixture. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Bake for 65 minutes, loosely covering the pie with foil the last 30 minutes of baking. Cool on rack.
4. Top with whipped Cream.
Makes 10 servings.