Serves a Crowd

Elegy for a dirty snowbank

March  7, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 1 pie
Author Notes

The resilient carcasses of dirty snowbanks have challenged me to create something beautiful out of their lingering presence. And usually, it is around this time that I start thinking about ideas for a birthday cake for my son. Often I have made him a black forest cake. With the theme of pies I will make a variation inspired by both this contest and this season. If you are lucky enough to have aargersi's Cherry Amaretto Jam, (see recipe on this site), this is perfect to use for the special preserves here. It is like the long-awaited bloom of the cherries finally arriving when you get to the bottom of the pie. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 4.5 ounces thin dark chocolate cookie wafers, crushed (Nabisco famous work)
  • 1/8 cup sliced almonds, ground up
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
  • 10 ounces homemade cherry preserves, especially Cherry Amaretto Jam (by aargersi)
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 4 ounces whipping cream
  • splash of Amaretto, optional
  • 14 dark chocolate thin cookie wafers
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate bar, shaved
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crushed wafers and ground almonds ( I use a coffee grinder) together in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan; dissolve the sugar in the butter. Pour this over the crumb mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. Press this mix into a pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Spread the cherry preserve over the pie shell. Grate the lemon on top. If you don't have a homemade cherry jam (see aargersi's recipe on this site), you can use a very good cherry preserve from an artisan kitchen. Add a splash of Amaretto if desired. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and then chill.
  5. Whip the heavy cream adding a splash of Amaretto, if desired. Lather up a thick layer on cream on top of the chilled pie. Break chocolate wafers in half. Insert into the cream in a radial pattern as illustrated in one of the photos. Cover the wafers over with cream for the magic to happen. Add shaved chocolate on top. It might still look like a dirty snowbank. Patiently, let set for about an hour in the fridge until the wafers bloom into cake-like blossoms. Then serve. Cutting the pie reveals the cherry surprise. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • Hilarybee
  • cheese1227
  • aargersi
  • fiveandspice

20 Reviews

luvcookbooks March 9, 2011
luv your mixture of art and delicious ... have some sour cherry preserves i purchased for my daughter, the sour cherry lover... will show her this tonight and it will help her out of her early spring slump, thanks!
Sagegreen March 9, 2011
I think sour cherry would be very nice with this. You may want to cut back on the ground almonds in the crust. Hope this can help your daughter out winter slump. Let me know how it goes!
Hilarybee March 8, 2011
Love this! Thank you for not letting this pie have a yellow snow top...
Sagegreen March 8, 2011
Thanks, Hilarybee!
cheese1227 March 8, 2011
Oh wow. Love chocolate cherry!
Sagegreen March 8, 2011
Thanks, c. It is chocolate cherry with a hint of almond, too.
aargersi March 8, 2011
This looks delicious! Glad to see that jam being put to work - as soon as cherries are back I will be making a batch or two !!!!
Sagegreen March 8, 2011
Thanks, aargersi! Your cherry recipe is brilliant. We LOVE it!!! You can doctor a good cherry preserve with some lemon zest and Amaretto, if anyone does not have yours. Your jam inspired me to add almonds to the chocolate crust!
adamnsvetcooking March 7, 2011
Yumme! I really like cherries and chocolates... I really miss my cherry orchid, soon they will start to bloom and spring will be here :)
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
Thanks, avc! Your cherry orchard must have been beautiful in the spring! We have some gorgeous dark pink cherry trees. Witch hazel is out here now at least!
fiveandspice March 7, 2011
Absolutely love your inspiration! Oh the never ending dirty snowbanks. I try to think of them as an odd sort of artwork...I would much rather think about this pie!
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
Thanks, fas. I have been contemplating them each day for months. The pie is magically switching over to looking like the good earth inside with the wafers blooming into chocolate cake....that's my favorite part. Hope we don't eat it before we get some photos!
kmartinelli March 7, 2011
Love the title and the recipe sounds delicious!
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
Thanks, km. I sampled a bit and it is very nice!
Blissful B. March 7, 2011
Love the inspiration & the end result!
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
Thanks, BB! We will eat it tonight.
hardlikearmour March 7, 2011
Yum! This is a lovely reinterpretation of black forest cake. Your son's going to love it.
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
I think he will. I just covered up the pie with more cream and chocolate shavings. As I walked to work along all the dirty snowbanks, I was struck by the resemblance!
Midge March 7, 2011
I love that you can find something redeeming in all these dirty snowbanks. This sounds really good!
Sagegreen March 7, 2011
Thanks! My son returns from Thailand this will be a welcome home and pre-birthday pie.