If you really want to impress your guests or family with a dessert then this is it! This is a never-fail pie that I have made on many occasions, it's absolutely fantastic! --- plan ahead the pie needs to chill for a minimum of 8 hours before serving --- it's also wonderful even without the chocolate-dipped cherries, the first time I made it I did use the cherries, the second time I made this I just drizzled the melted chocolate on the cold pie, then dolluped whipped cream around the edge of the pie :)
- 1 (6 ounce) ready-made chocolate crumb crusts
- 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)
- 1⁄4 cup butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
- 16 maraschino cherries (with stems attached) (optional)
- 2 cups whipped cream (or use Cool Whip topping, thawed)
- Microwave the semi-sweet baking chips with 1/2 cup whipping cream until the chocolate begins to melt (about 1 minute) remove and whisk in 1/4 cup butter until smooth; let cool, whisking occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a spreading consistency.
- Spoon half of the mixture over the ready-made pie crust.
- Cover and chill remaining chocolate mixture.
- Spoon the cherry pie filling evenly over the chocolate mixture in the pie crust; place the crust on a baking sheet.
- In a bowl beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, egg and almond extract at medium speed using an electric mixer until smooth.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cherry filling (the pie will be very full but shouldn't overflow when baked, but place the pie on a baking sheet anyway!).
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set; remove from oven and cool to about room temperature.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours.
- This next step with the cherries is optional, you can just drizzle the top of the cooled pie with melted chocolate and then dollop with whipped cream.
- Place 16 maraschino cherries with the stems on paper towels; pat them dry.
- Microwave the reserved chocolate mixture at MEDIUM for about 1 minute or until spreading consistency, stir until smooth.
- Dip the cherries into the warmed chocolate mixture, then place on a baking sheet.
- Chill the cherries for about 20 minutes (or longer).
- Spread any remaining chocolate over the pie, then spoon 8 dollops of whipped cream (or Cool Whip topping) around the outer edges of the pie.
- Place 2 chocolate-covered cherries on top of each dollop.