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For my 70th birthday (5 years ago), my daughters gave me all kinds of collectibles and memorabilia dated 1932.  This handkerchief was one of them – commemorating George Washington’s birth.

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I like to get it out for display each year on President’s Day.  And what better way to celebrate the occasion than a cherry pie.  In 1985, I was trying to come up with a unique idea for an Ohio State Fair cherry pie contest.  My oldest daughter suggested something with chocolate in it.  I developed this recipe incorporating chocolate and although it didn’t win the contest, it became a family favorite.

At that time, we had a country home with fruit trees – apple, pear, plum and one little cherry tree that produced huge amounts of fruit.  Pitting the cherries took forever but they were wonderful.  I never see fresh tart red cherries in our local markets but the canned cherries also make a delicious pie.

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CHERRY FUDGE PIE

Fudge layer:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. sweetened condensed milk , not evaporated
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cherry filling:

  • 3-1/2 cups fresh tart cherries or two 14-15 oz. cans of tart cherries, drained (Note:  not cherry pie filling)
  • 3 Tblsp. Minute tapioca
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tblsp. brandy
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In small saucepan stir condensed milk and chips over low heat until chips have melted.  Stir in vanilla.  Set aside.

In medium mixing bowl, place cherries, tapioca, salt, brandy, almond extract and sugar.  Stir to blend.

Place pastry in 9″ pie pan.  Spread chocolate mixture over bottom surface of crust.  Pour in the cherry mixture.  Dot with butter.  Add the top crust, brush lightly with milk and cut vents.  Set on a flat pan to catch spills.  Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.  Makes one 9″ pie. 

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