just a little piece of french silk

Where's the pie?

Where's the pie?

In addition to the office Chocolate Dealer, typically I am also responsible for the birthday desserts; it gives me the opportunity to try out new recipes and above all, make someone smile.  I keep a list of everyone’s top three favorites and I’m not sure what will happen when I go through all three, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.  In any case, it was my colleague’s birthday recently and it was between a Dirt Cake and French Silk Pie.  Having never made either and having never eaten a French Silk Pie, I decided that choosing the latter was much more fun and mysterious.  Truth is, I had never made a pie EVER.  I had watched my mother make a chocolate cream pie on the occasional holiday as well as pumpkin pie, but watching isn’t at all baking.

When I had locked down a recipe for the filling and crust, I headed to the grocery store with my list of fantastic-ness.  Spending more than enough time in the baking isle I decided to give my mom a call and see if we had any shortening at home.  Of course this meant I had to explain what I was doing and what I was doing it for and face an amount of negativity and then sudden praise:

MOM – “Oh a pie.  Crusts are difficult.  It’s always 50/50.”

Me – “Great.”

MOM – “Oh but you’re good at that so you’ll be fine.”

Gee…thanks.

Determined and ready to face a small counter space, I went home and organized my tools–er baking utensils and ingredients.  As long as I could follow the directions for the pie crust correctly even if I didn’t make it in to the pie dish right the first time I was supposed to have at least two other shots at it as the recipe made 3-4 pie crusts. The problem was that I had no idea what they meant when they said that as you mix the shortening into the flour mix, do so until it looks like peas.  Is this really going to end up looking like peas?  Peas!

But it’s true.  Careful not to touch the shortening without a good barrier of flour between it and you hands, slowly it starts to crumble and be absorbed my the flour until it resembles something of breadcrumbs the size of peas.   With a little bit of water somehow I managed to get a nice softball size ball of dough to be divided and one lucky piece would turn into my pie crust!

But it’s true.  Careful not to touch the shortening without a good barrier of flour between it and you hands, slowly it starts to crumble and be absorbed my the flour until it resembles something of breadcrumbs the size of peas.   With a little bit of water somehow I managed to get a nice softball size ball of dough to be divided and one lucky piece would turn into my pie crust!

Now for the filling which as I was mixing and melting, stirring and tasting, I realized I was making a wonderfully deliciously dark mousse!  Which if you didn’t know,  mousse kicks pudding’s ass any day.

I poured my filling into my baked crust and finished it off with a thick layer of fresh whipped cream.  I couldn’t leave it at that though.  It just looked too plain.  So I quickly cut out two different sized hearts from a piece of paper and arranged them over the top of the cream.  Carefully I dusted the top with unsweetened cocoa until there was a nice even freckle across the top.  I carefully removed the paper cutouts and Voilà!