“I don’t like chocolate. I don’t even like pie. And I can’t stop eating this.”
That’s the kind of reaction I’m getting when I serve the newest addition to CurvyMama Pies’ menu: French silk pie. It’s the creamiest, smoothest, most chocolatey thing ever. And it’s winning over even the most stalwart dessert-haters.
The latest example comes from my friend Cristina, who uttered the quote at the top of this post after tasting the French silk at a recent pie social at my house. This is someone, mind you, who is so indifferent to dessert, so unmoved by pie, that she bought a Pie-of-the-Month Club membership for her husband and doesn’t eat any of the pie that he receives from CurvyMama every month. When French silk was the selection of the month, though, it stormed her castle in the biggest way, and she surrendered. “I’ve had two slices already,” she sputtered in an email. “I think you’ve won me over.”
Similar things happened, on a larger scale, at the pie social. On a tableful of pies, it was the first one demolished, and the one that sparked the biggest gushers of love. “That one,” stammered an otherwise highly articulate friend, cooing in a near-sexual manner and pointing with a fork toward the remaining slices of French silk on the table. “That one. Mmmm.”
So it is popular adoration that compels me to share the French silk ecstasy with you. I’ll post the recipe here today, but I will also tell you that you need to take care with this pie. Since it uses raw eggs, you’ve got to be vigilant about the quality and freshness of your ingredients, and about keeping it sufficiently chilled when serving. So, with that in mind, here’s how you deliver this gem to your loved ones.
Start with the chocolate cookie crust. Most French silks out there use a pastry crust, and I can tell you that this is quite heavenly (as long as you use a good pastry recipe. Please don’t ever let me catch you serving this pie–or any pie, God help you–in a flavorless all-shortening crust. Not when good all-butter or butter-and-lard doughs are so easy to make and stratospherically better).
But I have settled on the chocolate cookie crust because the chocolate filling here is light enough that the dark chocolate cookie base is a really nice contrast. And, frankly, because people just friggin’ adore it.
So buzz chocolate wafers–enough to make 1 1/2 cups when ground into crumbs–in a food processor, combine them with melted butter, press them into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake at 350 until fragrant, 8-10 minutes. (Yes, I will give you exact amounts! Of course! 🙂 See recipe below.)
While the crust is cooling, you can make your filling.
In a small bowl in the microwave, or in a double boiler, melt together the unsweetened chocolate and espresso powder. Set aside to let cool a little.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the unsalted butter with the extra-fine sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Give it a good 3-5 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla paste. I like this better than vanilla extract for unbaked/uncooked fillings because it leaves no trace of alcohol. If you don’t have vanilla paste, however, substitute good vanilla extract.
Beat in the chocolate/espresso mixture until blended.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, at medium speed. Let the beater run for a full five minutes after each egg addition. (So now you see why a stand mixer is a good idea on this one, huh? You’re beating this stuff for 20 minutes.)
Pour the filling into the completely cooled pie crust. Chill thoroughly.
Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream, or whip the cream and pipe it onto the pie ahead of time. Then shake some dark cocoa over the piped cream through a small sieve to form a pretty pattern.
KEEP CHILLED, and SERVE CHILLED.
- 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) Famous Chocolate Wafer crumbs (about 27 wafers)
- 6 Tbsp. melted, unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1/4 tsp. espresso powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks, or 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup extra-fine sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste (can substitute vanilla extract)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Powdered sugar to taste
- Cocoa for decoration if desired
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Buzz the chocolate wafers in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
- Melt 6 Tbsp. of butter. Stir it into the crumbs, blending with a fork so the butter is fully worked into the crumbs. Press mixture into 9-inch pie pan. Bake 8-10 minutes, til fragrant. Let cool completely.
- Combine the 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 tsp. espresso powder in a small bowl in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Melt the chocolate and stir to incorporate the espresso powder. Set aside to cool a bit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 1 cup of butter and the 1 1/4 cups extra-fine sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla paste or extract. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating a full five minutes after each egg addition.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Chill thoroughly.
- Combine the heavy cream with powdered sugar to taste. Beat to stiff peaks and pipe onto the pie, shaking some cocoa over the cream tufts. Or, alternatively, just whip the cream and powdered sugar and put it in a bowl so guests can spoon out their own dollops.