Everyone needs a show-stopper in their repertoire. This one is mine. Or maybe I should say, it's my mom's. She's known for this pie (and a few other desserts I'll share in the future) and I'm so happy I can call it my own. I've watched her make it hundreds of times, but I've only made it twice. But I feel like I can take ownership now. This pie is me. It's part of my history. I love this pie because it reminds me of my mom and because it's delicious, but also because I like to be known as a girl who can make a pie like this....
The hardest part of this dessert is the pie crust and once you get that technique under your belt, you can just let your stand mixer do the rest. As you can see by the photo above, I have yet to perfect the perfectly symmetrical pastry crust, but it still tastes wonderful, and French Silk is all about the fluffy chocolate clouds inside anyway. All you need are butter, sugar, vanilla, chocolate and eggs and you can make this pie. But you don't need to tell anyone how ridiculously easy this is to make. They probably won't believe you anyway.
One note of preparation, though. This recipe does call for raw eggs. I make sure to buy eggs right before I make it, so they are as fresh as possible. We've never experienced any ill effects from it, but if you're sensitive to raw egg, you might like to try this recipe. It looks like a cooked custard base that gets folded into whipped cream and it looks amazing, too. I might have to try it to compare the two. But this one is the one that says "home" and "memories" and "Mom" to me.
Chocolate curls are not my strong suit, yet, apparently. The trick is to warm the block of chocolate in the microwave to soften it and make it pliable, but not so soft that it starts to melt. There's nothing wrong with chocolate shards and twigs, though. And more practice. Definitely more practice.
French Silk Pie
Single 9" pie crust:
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3- 4 T. water
For pastry: Heat oven to 475 degrees. Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until it's crumbly. Add one tablespoon of water at a time, tossing and stirring gently until dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a 10" diameter circle. Roll dough onto rolling pin and move to 9" pie plate. Roll excess pastry under and crimp. Prick entire surface of dough with a fork and bake 8-10 minutes, checking after 7 minutes to press crust down if it starts to bubble up. Let cool completely.
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
3 oz squares unsweetened chocolate
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 eggs, very fresh
Melt and cool chocolate. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Blend in cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed 5 minutes after each addition. Pour into cooled baked crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls. Store any remaining pie in refrigerator.