Recipe video included. This creamy French silk pie starts with my favorite pie crust, is loaded with a silky smooth, mousse-like chocolate filling and topped with fresh whipped cream. Sprinkle with some chocolate curls and you have an absolutely unbelievable dessert.
For the Pie Crust:
- 1¼cupsall-purpose flour
- 1tablespoongranulated sugar
- 6tablespoonsunsalted butter(chilled, cut into ¼-inch slices)
- ¼cupsolid vegetable shortening(chilled, cut into 2 pieces)
- 2tablespoonsice water
For the Filling:
- 1cupheavy cream
- 8ouncesbittersweet chocolate(finely chopped)
- ¾cupgranulated sugar
- 1tablespoonvanilla extract
- 8tablespoonsunsalted butter(at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces)
For the Whipped Cream Topping
- 1cupheavy cream
- 2 tablespoonsgranulated sugar
- ½teaspoonvanilla extract
- Chocolate curls(optional)
Make the Crust: Process ¾ cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process for 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes (or up to 2 days).
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease the dough into the pie plate. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place, wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Trim the overhang to ½-inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough around the edges. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in the plastic and refrigerate until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.
- Line the chilled pie shell with a double layer of aluminum foil, being sure to cover the edges as well, and fill with pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is pale in color, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely, about 1 hour.
Make the Filling: Pour the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
- In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and water. Beat the mixture on medium speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan filled ½-inch of barely simmering water over low heat, and warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture on medium speed until it is light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the cooled egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Scrape the filling into the pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
Make the Whipped Cream: Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until it just reaches stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the chilled pie and garnish with chocolate curls, if desired. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator, uncovered, for up to 3 hours. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.
- Pie Crust - This is my favorite pie crust recipe and a question I get asked often is if the vodka is necessary and if it can be replaced. Yes, it is essential in this particular recipe and you cannot substitute more water and get the same result. If you cannot use alcohol, I recommend using your own favorite pie crust recipe.
- Chocolate - I like to use the Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet baking bars for this recipe.
- Freezing Instructions - Once the pie has been chilled in the refrigerator, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then top with the fresh whipped cream and serve.