Thursday, February 9, 2023

Easier French Silk Pie

I don't blog much anymore, but I wanted to add this adjustment to an older recipe because I have made it a couple of times recently, and a few small changes made it so much better!

What You Need: 

For the crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening (cut into chunks)
3 Tbsp. butter (cut into chunks)
1/3 cup ice water

For the filling:
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
5 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate (chips, chunks or broken into chunks)
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Yield: About 36 mini pies (or you can use a 9" pie pan, and this will make you one pie)

For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 425-degrees (F).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Add shortening and butter, and either mix on low or cut in with a pastry cutter just until you get coarse crumbs. (About 30 seconds on low in my Kitchen Aid.)

Add the ice water, with the mixer on low, until it just begins to form a ball (about 30-60 seconds). There will still be some crumbs. Do not overmix or it will get tough. Turn the dough out onto some plastic wrap. Knead it with your hands about 5-10 times, until it becomes one ball. Wrap the dough, and put it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Dust a piece of  parchment paper with flour. Unwrap the dough, and dust the top with flour. Roll out to about 1/8" thick. Be sure you roll the crust very thin. If it's too thick, it doesn't wrap around the pan well, and you have fat, flat pie shells.

Cut out individual crusts using a 2.5" - 3"  round, fluted or flower cookie cutter. (I used a 10-petal flower cutter that is just shy of 3" in diameter.)

Press the shapes, as evenly as possible around the underside of a mini-cupcake pan. You want to be sure to get the sides to stick down or when they bake, they will bake more flat than like a bowl. When you cover all of the cups, place the tray in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to help the crusts set in their shape.

Bake the crusts for 8-10 minutes at 425-degrees, or until golden brown. Let cool.

If you're using a pie pan, you need to "blind bake" the pie crust. Roll out the crust into the pan, place parchment paper over the unbaked crust, and DRIED beans or pie weights. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove parchment and beans and bake another 5 minutes or so until lightly golden.

For the Filling:

Set a small saucepan with 1" water over medium-low heat to simmer. (Or use a double-boiler if you have one.) 

Crack the eggs into a heatproof bowl large enough to set over the saucepan. Whisk in the sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water, and WHISKING CONSTANTLY, heat the egg mixture to 160-degrees (F). This is the food-safe temperature for eggs. If you do not whisk constantly, you will cook the eggs. Go slowly the first time, on a lower heat, so you can be sure you don't cook the eggs. It can take 5-10 minutes.

Remove the eggs from the heat and add the 5 oz of chopped chocolate immediately. Let sit for 30-60 seconds. Whisk, whisk, whisk to make a chocolately egg mixture. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and powdered sugar until it is creamy. Add vanilla. Mix well.

When the chocolate/egg mixture is no longer hot, add 1/3 of the mixture to the butter. Mixing well (2 minutes on medium) after each addition until it looks soft, light and silky. Add each remaining third, mixing for about 2 minutes each time.

Load the filling into a piping bag fitted with Tip 1A, or just a piping bag with a hole cut in the bottom, or even a zip-top baggie, if you want. Fill each cooled pie shell with filling.

For the Topping:

Combine the cream & powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on high until stiff peaks form (about a minute). Add vanilla just before you turn off the mixer. To help the cream whip best, put the bowl and beater(s) in the refrigerator for a while before you whip it.

Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each mini pie. (I use a tip 1M.)
Shave a bit of chocolate with a microplane grater over the top for garnish.

Click the Links Below to See:
French Silk Pie Recipe
Ridiculous Chocolate Cake Recipe (includes chocolate cake, pie crust and this pie filling)
Pie Recipes
Chocolate Recipes

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