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Monday, February 10, 2014

French Silk Pie

french silk pie
French Silk Pie
Hmm, a certain love-filled holiday is just around the corner, meaning many of you are probably looking for ways to impress the ones you love with copious amounts of chocolate. Before you call the neighborhood bakery or drop into the nearest grocery store for a store-bought pie or dessert, give this one a try. I'm convinced it's fool-proof, so long as you're willing to follow the instructions and beat the pie filling for long enough. 
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Your reward for patience? A rich chocolate pie that is sure to have the recipient singing your praises! This was my first time making (or eating!) French Silk Pie and I'll be honest, I always thought it was more like a chocolate pudding pie. Turn out, a French Silk Pie's filling is a light and fluffy mousse. The technique involves beating raw eggs into the batter for a long period of time (I used pasteurized eggs, which I recommend if you're wary of raw eggs). The different layers of the pie-crust, mousse, and whipped cream topping-make for a finished dessert that tastes as pretty as it looks!
french silk pie
My favorite part of this pie was actually the crust. It tasted a little bit like shortbread, and the inclusion of chopped nuts added a unique taste and crunch to the overall pie. I think it'll be my new go-to crust for a variety of pies, especially since it's made in the food processor and then pressed (not rolled!) into the pie plate.

Tell me, what Valentine's Day sweets are you making this year?

One Year Ago: Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day
Two Years Ago: Creme Brulee Cheesecake and Almond Joy Bread
Three Years Ago: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette and Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Four Years Ago: Spaghetti Pie and Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

French Silk Pie
adapted from Martha Stewart

for the crust-
-8 tbsp (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
-1/3 cup pecan halves
-1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 tsp water

for the filling-
-12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup granulated sugar
-3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
-1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-3 large eggs (pasteurized if you're concerned with eating raw eggs)

for the topping-
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 tbsp granulated sugar
-shaved chocolate, for topping if desired

1. To make the crust, preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch pie plate. Add all crust ingredients to the bowl of a food processor except the water. Pulse until mixture starts to clump together. Add 2 tsp water and pulse, then press dough to see if it'll stick together. If still too loose, add remaining 2 tsp water, pulse, and then press dough together. Press dough into the prepared pie plate, spreading evenly on the bottom and sides of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
2. To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate (must be cooled!) and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for 5 minutes after each addition.
3. Pour filling into pie crust, spreading evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Just before serving, make the whipped cream. Beat heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and top with chocolate shavings. Cut into slices and serve.