When I was young, a holiday was never a holiday without a French Silk Pie. It was one of my grandmother's specialties. She passed away when I was 9, and sadly, I never learned how to make it from her. After she passed away, we had many Thanksgivings and Christmases without this delicious dessert, until a few years ago when my aunt picked up the slack. This year I was in charge of the Thanksgiving sweet treats, so it was my turn to test my French Silk Pie making skills.
This is an amazing dessert for so many reasons. The crust is perfect - flaky and buttery. The pie is light and airy and melts in your mouth, it is rich and deeply chocolate-y, it looks like it took hours to make but it really only takes a matter of minutes (not including the time it takes to make the crust). It does contain raw eggs, but I think we can look past that, don't you? I mean if I can do it, so can you. I am not at all a fan of eggs, and this is far and away the only way you could ever get me to eat raw ones. I'm working on a version with cooked eggs - when I figure it out, I'll let you know. Until then, this is just too delicious to pass up because of a couple of raw eggs, so I hope you'll give it a try.
French Silk Pie
All-Butter Pie Crust
adapted from Good for Almost Everything Pie Crust by Dorie Greenspan
makes a 9" double crust
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
13 ounces (3 sticks + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until it is well-distributed. There should be pieces of butter in varying sizes. Add the water a little at a time, working the dough with your fingers to incorporate it. Add as much of the water as you need for the dough to form a ball. If you need a little extra water, go ahead and add it. When the dough has come together, divide it into two equal pieces. For a single crust, roll out one piece of dough on a well-floured board. Place in buttered 9" pie plate, trim the edges, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let crust cool completely before filling.
4 oz best quality semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream + more for topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter. After about 2 minutes, add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When chocolate is fluid, slowly add it to mixer in a thin stream. When all of the chocolate is incorporated, pour heavy cream in a thin stream and whip on high for about 2 minutes. Spoon filling into crust, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
When ready to serve, remove pie from fridge and top with freshly whipped heavy cream that has been lightly sweetened with agave.