I’m sorry to have been absent this month. I am very excited to have a great, new FT job!! Then I also have my PT teaching job, three children, a husband, a dog….so, as you can imagine, November has been a bit busy. But, in a great way!
I am happy to be the November hostess for What’s Baking. I chose pie for the theme, figuring with Thanksgiving and all, it would be very fitting. This year, we went to my mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving and of course, I was in charge of dessert. I decided to make a French silk pie because it has been my favorite ever since I was a little girl and my grandpa would bring one from Baker’s Square every time he visited. I hadn’t made it since college, then using a Pillsbury pie crust and a recipe with raw eggs. But, with three kids, I figured this would just not do. So, I thought the cooked version from ATK would be the perfect solution. And, I would scrap the store-bought crust and make my own pastry crust. Oh, I always have grand plans…
So, I set off to make Martha’s pastry crust that I made last Thanksgiving. But, I either forgot or didn’t read the directions carefully that the prepared crust had to be refrigerated for 1 hour before baking. At this point, it was already noon and there was no time for that. So, I just put the crust in the oven as is and hoped for the best. When time was up, to my dismay, the crust totally shrunk down to about 1/2 inch tall. Yeah, no way was this crust going to hold the French silk filling. Oh, geez. Now what? Thank goodness we had some Oreos and so I made a quick cookie crust. Problem solved.
For the filling, you will need a hand mixer to beat the eggs and sugar over a double boiler for ~8 minutes until they reach 160 degrees. Midway through this process, my husband yelled for me to come upstairs. He didn’t sound too happy, so I turned off the stove, put the mixer down, and went upstairs. There I see Justin, holding Alex with blue, purple and green marker all over his face, hands, and the walls of his bedroom. Apparently Alex crawled out of his bed after his nap, found his sister’s markers, and decided that he and his room were in need of a makeover. So, Justin had to put out that fire, while I went back to my pie. Luckily, the rest of it went off without a hitch.
The pie was ready just in time to leave for my mother-in-law’s house. I hadn’t made the whipped cream and chocolate curls yet, but the kitchen was all a bustle in apps, turkey and sides preparation. So, I figured I should have an apple bourbon drink and just wait until after dinner to finish my pie. But, the problem is, I cannot take pictures inside. No matter how I adjust the white balance on my camera or how I edit it, I cannot get the color right on indoor pictures. Of course, after dinner it was dark, so I didn’t get a photo But, this pie was crazy delicious and went fast. So, what the heck, I would just have to make another one. I mean, after all, I was hosting What’s Baking, I chose the theme of pie and then I had no pie? This could not be. I can think of many worse things than having to eat two French silk pies in one week.
French Silk Chocolate Pie
Yield: one 9 inch pie
For the crust:
18 Oreo cookies
3 Tbsp melted butter
Place cookies in the food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Pour in the butter and process until well combined.
Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until the crust is fragrant, ~ 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
With an electric mixer on med-high, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks, ~2 to 3 minutes. Put the whipped cream in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Prepare a double boiler with a medium-sized saucepan filled with ½ inch of barely simmering water and place a large heat proof bowl on top. Put the eggs, sugar, and water into the bowl. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat until the egg mixture is thick and registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer, ~ 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat. Continue to beat the egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, ~ 8 minutes.
Add the cool chocolate and vanilla to the cool egg mixture. Beat until incorporated. Beat in the softened butter pieces, a few at a time, until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the filling into the pie shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired.
Source: Cook’s Country Feb/March 2009
For the sweetened whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate curls, if desired
With an electric mixer on med-high, whisk cream just until soft peaks form. Add confectioner’s sugar and whisk until stiff peaks. Spread whipped cream over the chocolate filling.
Garnish with chocolate curls just before serving if desired. To do this, heat a thick bar of milk chocolate in the microwave for 15 second increments until it softens a bit, but doesn’t melt. Use a peeler along the long side of the chocolate bar to make the curls. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it looks.