Baking: Cherry-Chocolate Pie

I’m finally back to baking!! Who’s missed it over here since a few years back when it was a normal segment that occurred? I know that I have but the last few years, my mindset hasn’t quite been there yet. However, we’ll skip the frilly things and get right down to it.

I’ve been craving a cherry pie forever and can’t seem to find one so my solution, pick up some tart shells and cherry pie filling (because cherries aren’t in season now) and then add a little something to give it a fun little twist.

Its nothing sophisticated or difficult to this one but I needed to get back to baking and this was something that I’ve wanted to do quickly so here we are as a quick solution. We’ll get fancier baked goods to come!

Cherry-Chocolate Pie

Cherry Chocolate Pie

Inspired by this recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/33749-heartbreak-pie-aka-black-bottom-cherry-pie

Ingredients

  • Pre-made Tart Shells (I used Tenderbake Pie Shells not deep dish)
  • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling (I used E.D. Smith)
  • Dark Chocolate Chips (Selection brand)

What I did:

  1. Thaw the tart shells for however long the package says, in my case, it was 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven at 425C.
  3. Layer one of the pie shells with the dark chocolate chips.
  4. Carefully pour or scoop the cherry pie filling as a layer on top of the dark chocolate chips.
  5. Put the second tart shell over the top of the first to cover it up. Use a fork to carefully seal up the sides. Cut some slits on top to release steam while in the oven.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.

The final product looked like that above and a slice looked like this:

Cherry-Chocolate Pie

I did a few modifications to the recipe above as well as some things I’d have done differently.

  • The major one is that I didn’t make a ganache and just pour in the chocolate chips to melt on their own which I thought gave it a little more texture because a part of it melted and the other part had some bites of chocolate chips.
  • You can make your own cherry pie filling or your own tart shells. I would have made the cherry pie filling if cherries were in season but they aren’t unfortunately.
  • For this particular recipe, if I were to do it again, I’d do probably 400C at 45 minutes instead, mostly because this time, it was a little over-browned on the side. Not yet burnt but on its way, so lower temp would probably be better.
  • You can use any type of chocolate chip that you desire. For lactose-free concerns, this was my choice.

Final thoughts:

Now my usual baking endeavours, for sure. I haven’t baked in a long time so we’re starting off with some easy and simple recipe to just get back into the mood. This pie is actually quite good for quick solutions as the chocolate balances the very tart cherry pie filling without haven’t to add in more sugar than what is already there from this brand at least.  It turned out actually rather good and layered as I had hope with the chocolate forming a layer at the bottom and a tart cherry pie filling on the top.

What types of pies do you like to make (or to eat)?

Baking: Cherry-Cranberry Crumb Bars

Spring cooking date with my friend! Remember my road trip buddy that I hang out with for movies and baking dates? Well, we only had one baking date before Christmas last year where we made this and this. We’re back this time for the long Victoria’s Day weekend and with cherries and eggs, I went over to her place and we did some research and ended up making some Cherry-Cranberry Crumb Bars.

Cherry-Cranberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from: Blueberry Crumb Bars from Smitten Kitchen

Cherry Cranberry Crumb Bars

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
*zest and juice of one lime
4 cups *fresh cherries & cranberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat over to 375F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup white sugar, 3 cups flour and baking powder. Mix in salt and lime zest. Use a fork to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half the dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the cherries and cranberries. Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the fruit layer.
  4. Bake in preheated over for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Cherry-Cranberry Crumb Bar

There were no substitutions for anything here. Although this one is already modified to how we made it.  There was only two ingredients from the original recipe that we’ve changed.  The first is that we made cherry and cranberry instead of blueberry and the other is that we used lime zest and juice instead of lemon.

The last time I made crumb bars was in 2012! Almost four years ago! That’s crazy! Last time was good but the pan was too small so the levels didn’t work out well in that sense.  However, these crumb bars were rather tart, probably because of the cranberries.  I personally love it like this more.  The pan we used was perfect and had a great texture in layers.  The fruity bits balanced well with the crumb on the top and when it cooled, it became firm enough to actually feel like a bar and didn’t fall apart.

This recipe is rather easy to do.  Of course, it would be less time consuming if you used blueberries.  We had a bit more prep time just because we had to pit the cherries.  Now, I am thinking of redoing the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Bars I did four years ago but using the right sized pan and making it the perfect fit for this time of year, especially when my rhubarb plant is fabulously ready for harvesting! 🙂

What flavor do you like crumb bars or just granola bars or whatnot? 

Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake

VOILA! I promised you baking and I got right down to business on Friday night! Still working on my Valentine’s lineup of treats so hopefully by next weekend, I will have something up. For now, here is one that I have been meaning to do: Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake.  I haven’t made coffee cake since I was 15 probably.  So that’s over 10 years now and I seriously forgot how simple it was. Although, this one was a bit layering so it took a bit more time.

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Recipe: Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake (from Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook)

Makes 18 servings

Ingredients

Coffee cake:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

4 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsps water

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1. Heat oven to 350F.  Generously grease 15x10x1 inch pan with shortening or cooking spray (Oops…forgot to do that!) . In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, butter, shortening, baking powder, vanilla, almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in flour.

2. Spread two-thirds of the batter in pan.  Spread pie filling over batter.  Drop remaining batter by tablespoons onto pie filling.

3. Bake about 45 mins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

4. In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients with spoon until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake.  Serve warm or let stand until cool.

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I love recipes that go straight to just mixing almost all the ingredients in then adding flour at the end.  Most of the recipes actually would work like that too.  I have a hand mixer so the whole standing around holding it for 3 minutes was testing my strength a bit, but it did work like a miracle to turn up the speed.  There was one slight change that I made for this recipe and it was lowering the sugar to 1 cup.  My mom is into healthy living so I lowered it so that she could enjoy it more.  Also, I modified the glaze to 1/2 cup powdered sugar so that I could just put glaze on one half and the other half was made to not have glaze so it was also less sweet.  It tasted fruity and had a crispy crust on the top.  The texture was moist around the middle fruity layer and more crumbly at the bottom.  I love this type of  texture in any sorts of desserts so I loved it. My mom thought that it was perfect (without the glaze).  As for my boyfriend who isn’t a huge fan of cherries, he still really enjoyed it.  This recipe tends to taste better when warm so keep that in mind before you serve it or eat it.

What do you all think about coffee cakes?  Fans? Any other flavors you’d recommend to me?