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Makes 8 to 10 servings.


    1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    2/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
    1 (21-ounce) can cherry filling and topping


Allow both crust pouches to stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Remove one crust from pouch; unfold. Press out fold lines.

If crust cracks, wet fingers and push edges together. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over crust. Turn crust, floured side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Using paper pattern as guide, cut crust into heart shape.* Generously prick heart crust with fork. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool. Repeat with the remaining crust.

Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and almond extract in a small bowl; beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until thickened.

To assemble, place one heart-shaped pie crust on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup of the hot fudge. Carefully spread half of cream cheese mixture over hot fudge. Spoon 2/3 of the cherry filling over cream cheese. Spread second crust with remaining hot fudge and place over filling. Carefully spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Spoon remaining cherry filling about 1 inch from edge. Refrigerate until serving time. Store any remaining torte in refrigerator.

* (To make pattern, cut a piece of paper into a heart shape about 10 1/2 inches high and 10 inches wide.)

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Marketing Institute


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