Fresh cranberries are flooding produce stalls, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching.
This year I thought I would take cranberries in a different direction, not a relish or chutney or cranberry pie this time. I decided to dream up a chocolate dessert that would incorporate cranberries. A cake? A chocolate pie with cranberry coulis? a brownie-based tart? Although each possibility had real potential, I decided to tinker with the latter one.
My brownies are a big crowd pleaser, with lots of wiggle room to accommodate flavor variations. Could I use that as my starting point, and push the envelope even further than I already had, and sneak in a whole bag of fresh cranberries without upsetting the delicate balance that yields such creamy brownies, and would slice just like a pie? As always with making a new recipe, especially dessert, I tried to imagine it in my mind’s eye. This one resisted me, a good couple hours, and I tossed around the modified amounts of sugar, the nuts, the tartness, the extracts and whatnot, but the great news is, once I set out to make what I finally settled on, I just knew I had a real winner on my hands.
This was borne out last night at my Shabbos table, at dessert time: A real triumph.
Do not change anything: It’s fantastic! And so simple. I had some gluten-free guests, and it was no hardship whatsoever using rice flour.
I love cranberries too much, and couldn’t bear to be separated until autumn, so I buy a small truckload of them, and keep them in my freezer year-round
I love to use my 12 inch pie plate, pictured above. It makes for a dramatic and beautiful presentation. But you could use 2 9″ pie plates instead, only try your best to get pie plates with straight sides (as opposed to the sloping Pyrex pie plates).
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, very good quality
- 1 cup natural margarine spread (health food stores)
- 3 tablespoons Creme de Cassis
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour, any flour, including gluten-free
- 1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (preheated 325 degree oven about 12 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the chocolate, margarine spread and Cassis on a very low flame (or microwave 2 minutes). Stir to combine the melted mixture thoroughly.
In a food processor or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and process (or mix) until combined. Add the flour and pulse just 2-3 times, or mix, until just combined. Fold in the nuts and cranberries with a spoon.
Pour the batter into a greased 12-inch pie plate, or 2 9-inch pie plates, and bake one hour, until the center is barely firm, not a minute longer, the residual heat will do the drop baking it needs, and it will firm up as it cools. Chill the pie completely before slicing.