Monday, July 30, 2012

Lion House Almond Chocolate Pie

My cousin Cathy used to bring a pie similar to this each Thanksgiving and everyone loved it.  This is the Lion House version.  I made it this week for our book club and remembered how yummy it is!  It's rich and creamy and chocolaty and the toasted almonds make it REALLY delicious!! It's kind of like a s'more pie when made with a graham cracker crust.  SO GOOD!!!!


I don't have a double boiler - so I just put a stainless steel bowl over the top of a pan with an inch of water in the bottom.  It works great!
I garnished the finished pie with some grated dark chocolate and some of the toasted almonds.

Almond Chocolate Pie
from Lion House Pies

1 graham cracker crust or baked 9-inch pie shell (see recipe below for graham cracker crust)
1/2 c almond slivers, toasted (I used sliced almonds instead)
1 7-oz chocolate bar (I used the big Symphony -red version)
1/2 c half-and-half
18 large marshmallows
1 c heavy whipping cream (I used regular whipping cream)

Place almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.  almonds should be light golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Be careful not to overcook; almonds will continue to brown after being removed from the oven.  (note:  since my oven was being used to bake my crust, I toasted my almonds in a dry frying pan over medium heat - stirring carefully - it only took a few minutes.)

Place the chocolate bar, half-and-half, and marshmallows in the top of a double boiler and heat until chocolate bar and marshmallows are melted.  (*See note below) In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff; fold cream and almonds into chocolate mixture.  Pour into crust and refrigerate to cool.  When cool, place in freezer.  Remove from freezer 1 hour before serving.  Makes 1 pie.

NOTE:  This recipe sounded to me like you fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream while it is still hot - which I did on the first go-around.  It immediately melted the whipped cream and turned soupy.  I tried it again on the second pie and let it cool to room temperature before I folded it into the whipped cream and it worked much better.

Graham Cracker Crust
from America's Test Kitchen

1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)
5 TBSP butter, melted
2 TBSP sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Toss the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar together thoroughly with a fork.  Pour crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate.  Using the bottom of a measuring cup-press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and side of the pie plate.  Bake until the crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 -20 minutes.  The pie crust may be cooled completely or used warm, according to the particular pie recipe.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blueberry Jello Salad

We recently had some friends over for dinner and they brought this delicious Blueberry Jello salad.  I couldn't get enough of it!  It was different than the regular Jello you normally have and SO good.  It was almost like a dessert.  Thanks for the new idea Royene!  

Blueberry Jello Salad
from my friend Royene

1 6 oz pkg of black cherry Jello (I couldn't find it in the big box, so I just bought 2 of the small boxes)
1 15 oz can Oregon Blueberries in light syrup (undrained)
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 8 oz sour cream
1/2 c sugar (this makes it really sweet, almost like a dessert.  I tried it the second time with 1/4 c and it was good too)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

In a 9x13 pan - dissolve Jello in 2 c boiling water.  Add blueberries and pineapple - undrained (this replaces the cold water). Refrigerate until set - about 4 hours.

Beat softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla in mixer until smooth.  Spread over well set Jello. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (if using).  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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