French silk pie -such a fancy name for a pie. I mean it sounds fancy right? French and silk? Who would have knew that my obsession (and my daughter Amanda’s obsession) with the “fancy French Silk pie” would begin at a Bob Evans restaurant (lol – such a fancy place). For years before my father passed away, my family would spend Thanksgiving with my father in Burlington, North Carolina. This is one of the few holidays that we spent away from home and one of the few that I did not cook the entire meal. My dad loved to cook as much as I love to cook.
Dad loved to cook the thanksgiving meal for our family but baking was not his specialty. I would bring a coconut cake with me from Virginia and every year my Dad would order pumpkin and pecan pies from Cracker Barrel and French Silk and Apple Pie from Bob Evans restaurant. That is how our family tradition started with French Silk pie. The first year Dad only purchased one French Silk pie which we quickly began to squabble over and which was quickly devoured . The next day Dad made a run back to Bob Evans to purchase another pie which was once again gobbled up. This tradition went on for years until a national disaster occurred (well maybe not a national disaster but a true tragedy) Bob Evans closed their restaurant in Burlington, North Carolina and our French Silk pie tradition came to a quick halt. The first year we did not have the French Silk pie we all felt like something was missing. The following year I was determined to make a French Silk pie. As I said previously, pie making is not my specialty as it was my Grandmother’s. But I was determined to master the French Silk Pie. Well let me tell you the first couple of pies were a complete flop. After several years, I feel that I make a pretty good French Silk pie. I don’t know if it is as good as Bob Evans but it does come in a close second I think but you will have ask my family about that.
With this silk pie recipe I have used several different crusts. I have used an Oreo crust, a graham cracker crust and a traditional pie crust. I have found that the traditional crust is still our favorite.
French Silk PieCourse: DessertCuisine: French
This creamy and indulgent French silk pie combined with a flaky pie crust, smooth-as-silk chocolate filling, and fresh whipped cream on top is the ultimate indulgence. This recipe uses cooked eggs, so you don’t have to worry about consuming raw eggs.
1 unbaked Flakey Pie Crust
egg wash for pie crust: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream
1 1/2 cups finely granulated sugar (I put my sugar in a food processor to make it really fine)
4 large eggs
8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
4 teaspoons of powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate curls for garnish
- Pie crust: I like to make my pie crust dough a few days in advance so there is less work on pie baking day and the dough has to be chilled for at least two hours.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough disc on a floured work surface. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. When rolling out the chilled pie dough disc to use in your pie, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Visible specks of butter and fat in the dough are perfectly normal and expected!
- Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a nice thick edge, do not trim excess dough off around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie.
- Line the inside of the pie with two pieces of parchment paper, then pour in the pie weights. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking.
- Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
Blind-bake the crust: Bake the cold pie crust with weights for 15 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper and the weights out of the pie. Prick all over the bottom of the pie crust with a fork which helps prevent air bubbles. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash. Return the crust to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 more minutes.
- Cook the eggs: Whisk eggs and granulated sugar together in a heat-proof bowl or the top piece of a double boiler. Place over a pot of simmering water (or the bottom part of your double boiler) on medium heat. Do not let the surface of simmering water touch the bottom of the heat-proof bowl. Whisking constantly, cook the egg mixture until it reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer, about 10-11 minutes. Do not stop whisking or the eggs may solidify. If the steam gets too hot over your hand, use an oven mitt. Carefully remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. After cooling, slowly stir in the melted chocolate. To prevent curdling, cool for another 10 minutes before using in the next step.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and combined, at least 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the chocolate/egg mixture, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until combined.
- It is important for the bowl and ingredients to be cold for the next stage of making the filling–to get the right texture and result. In a large chilled bowl with an electric mixer to beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the pan, smoothing evenly. The pie will be tall with filling. Chill for 6 hours. At this point the pie can be stored for up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate shavings.