Cherry Almond Mousse Pie

I love a good cooking competition. Elly at Elly Says Opa, is hosting an Eat to the Beat recipe contest. “What the heck is that?” you ask. I’ll tell ya. To enter the contest, you have to prepare some kind of food that relates to a song. How fun is that! It is going to be interesting to see what people come up with.

I thought it would be fun to enter, so I searched online for “songs about food”. Let me just say that there are lots more than I ever imagined. Apparently we are all obsessed with food, even in Hollywood. Anyway, I went through the extensive list and wrote down the songs I was familiar with. I started brainstorming; then I went and asked my hubbie for his input. I started reading: American Pie by Don McLean, Lemon Tree by Peter, Paul & Mary, Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard, and a few others. (Yes, I know, my taste in music is quite, um, varied.) Anyway, as soon as I said Cherry Pie by Warrant, his immediate reaction was, “Duh, Cherry Almond Mousse Pie”. It is his very, very favorite dessert. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. So in honor of my awesome husband, I am entering this dessert:

recipe for pie

Chocolate Cherry Almond Mousse Pie

1 9″ pie shell, baked and cooled
1 can sweetened condensed milk, divided
3 Tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp almond extract, divided
10oz jar maraschino cherries
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup cold water
1 3oz box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup cream, whipped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
Cook 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk with the chips till thickened. (I heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, but you can cook it in a saucepan for 4-5 minutes.) Stir in 1/4 tsp of the almond extract and pour into the pie shell. Chop all but 8 of the cherries; set aside. Beat cream cheese till fluffy; slowly add water and remaining milk. Add pudding and 1/4 tsp almond extract and beat till smooth. Fold in whipped cream, cherries, and almonds. Pour over chocolate layer. (This makes a very large pie! Sometimes I have filling leftover and we just eat it like pudding.) Chill till set, about 3 hours. Garnish with the 8 cherries and extra whipped cream if desired.