Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cranberry-Pomegranate Chiffon Pie and Ben’s Gingerbread Hall of Fame

It is once again my pleasure to bring you two of my favorite Christmas traditions: a delicious recipe you can serve at Christmas dinner, (this year, Cranberry-Pomegranate Chiffon Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust with White Chocolate Sauce), and the 2011 inductees into Ben’s Gingerbread Hall of Fame. With a two-part article there’s much to show, so let’s get started!

Part 1: Ben’s Gingerbread Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Gingerbread cookies are, of course, one of Christmas’ most cherished traditions. One of my favorite things is to use them to commemorate people or images that made a special mark during the year. (Click here to see the previous inductees, along with a recipe for a great-tasting pecan pie with cranberries and bourbon.)

And now, please welcome the Gingerbread Hall of Fame, Class of 2011!

Angry Birds

Sock Monkey

Sue Sylvester

William and Kate Royal Wedding

Part 2: Cranberry-Pomegranate Chiffon Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust with White Chocolate Sauce

A delicious dessert is the perfect finish to a special dinner. This Cranberry-Pomegranate Chiffon Pie tastes great, is easy to make, and is low-fat too! (If you've never worked with unflavored gelatin before, this recipe is a good example of why you might want to add this wonderful and useful ingredient to your arsenal.)

This recipe makes one 9” pie. (You might also want to save the directions for the graham cracker crust and the white chocolate sauce separately, since those will be useful for lots of other dishes, too!)

First, let’s make the crust. (If you use a purchased graham cracker crust, just skip this step and go on to the filling directions.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make 1-1/2 cups of crumbs, put about 12 low-fat graham crackers in a large (1 gallon size) food storage bag.

Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers and make the crumbs. (Try not to let on how much fun this is to do.)

In a bowl, combine the crumbs with ¼ cup sugar, a pinch of ground cinnamon, and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Add 5 tablespoons of melted butter substitute.

Combine until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand.

Spread the batter into a 9” pie pan, pressing down using fingers or the flat bottom of a glass.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until light brown and firm to the touch. Allow the crust to cool before filling.

To make the chiffon filling:

You'll need a bottle of cranberry-pomegranate juice.

Place a mixer bowl, mixer blades, and ½ cup of juice in the freezer until very cold.

In a small saucepan, bring ¾ cup juice to a boil. Pour into a bowl or mixing cup, add 1 packet (1/4 ounce) of unflavored gelatin and stir. Add ¼ cup sugar, and stir well.

Let the mixture cool until it is the consistency of unbeaten egg whites, about 20 minutes.

Place ½ cup non-fat dry milk and the ice-cold juice in a mixing bowl. Beat on high speed 3-4 minutes, or until soft peaks form.

Add  2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and continue beating.

Gradually add ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.

Gently mix the cooled gelatin mixture into the beaten dry milk mixture to form the filling.

Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell, cover and refrigerate three hours or until firm.

Finally, to make the white chocolate sauce:
Finely chop 3.5 ounces of white chocolate and place in a bowl.

Combine 6 tablespoons of fat-free half-and-half and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Pour the boiled mixture onto the chocolate in the bowl. Let stand for 1 minute.

Add ½ tablespoon of butter substitute and stir until smooth. (If the sauce thickens too much when cooled, add a splash of skim milk to thin.)

To complete the pie:

Once the pie has cooled and is firm, sprinkle the top with finely chopped pecans.

Slice to serve. As you plate each slice, top it with the white chocolate sauce using a spoon or squeeze bottle as shown in the photo at the top of the recipe.

Wishing you all a joyous [fill in the name of your favorite December celebration]!

See you next week with another delightful treat for your cooking and eating pleasure!  Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Merry Christmas, Ben! I like the Royal Wedding cookie the best! LOL! And that Chiffon cake looks so delicious! I also love the pretty plate it's on -- I noticed the color of the pie matches a color in the plate, so pretty! I'm sure you wouldn't have noticed, but probably your wife and the other ladies at your dinner did! :)
    Hope you had a great holiday!

  2. Hope your Christmas was great too, Gloria! Glad you liked the special cookies. :-) And you are right: the colors of the plate did escape my notice, which should not surprise anyone who knows me. lol.