Happy Endings

There's something about the combination of chocolate and cherries that is perfectly sublime. Add to that the cool creaminess of pudding and you've got a winning combination. This month's recipe combines all that with a list of ingredients and instructions that are simple and a result that's delicious and lighter fare than your average dessert.

The next time someone rants and raves about a dessert that took hours to make, you can smile to yourself and think that less than a half an hour of effort can give you a dessert that's every bit as luscious. I like to save this special dessert for weekday entertaining. I simply make the pudding-filled crust the night before and add the cherries and garnishes before my guests arrive the next day. It's a dessert that has a special occasion feeling about it without requiring a huge time commitment or a slice that you need a microscope to find!

If you are feeling like making this dessert even simpler, you could layer the pudding and cherries in a parfait glass and garnish it with the whipped cream and chocolate curls. You could even work in some chocolate graham cracker crumbs in keeping with the spirit of the dish. In a month when finding enough time to cook, much less make dessert, is hard, this is a dessert that begs to be enjoyed ... and no one has to know it took minutes to make!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Easy Black Forest Pie

  • 1 - 3 oz. pkg. chocolate-fudge flavored instant pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 c. cold skim milk
  • 1 - 8-inch chocolate graham cracker crust
  • 1 - 12 oz. can light cherry pie filling
  • Whipped cream & chocolate curls for garnish

In a medium bowl, add the instant pudding mix to the cold milk and beat slowly for 30 seconds. Turn the speed to high and beat an additional 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Carefully spread the pie filling over the pudding layer and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls before serving.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time