This pie was the result of using the last of my Christmas baking ingredients. It's similar to the ricotta cheese filling I use in my homemade cannoli shells. I "skinnied up" the pie by using low fat cheeses and topping, but you could go full fat if you choose to do so. There wasn't any lack of creaminess in this low fat version though. It turned out very well. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
1Bake off the 9" pastry crust or use a graham cracker crust. Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Drain the container of ricotta cheese to remove some of the liquid that may be in the carton. Chop the cherries that have been rinsed and dried by patting with a paper towel, otherwise the filling will be mostly pink and more wet than you want it to be. Chop a good quality dark chocolate bar into pieces the size of chocolate chips.
2In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric beater until very smooth. Add the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar and almond extract and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
3Divide the whipped topping in half (this can be approximate rather than trying to measure out a half of a carton). Gently fold in half of the topping into the chilled cheese mixture. Fold in the cherries, chocolate and almonds. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
4Chill the pie for at least 2 hours. Spoon or pipe the other half carton of whipped topping onto the pie. Garnish with a sprinkling of sliced almonds and shaved chocolate curls before serving. Refrigerate any remaining pie.