Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

Back before we started our little baking business, I was the Thanksgiving pie guy.  Whether it was eating with family or with friends, my job was the pies.

I would make five or six pies. Of course, I would make pumpkin pies, and apple.  I would try to get a little exotic like a cream cheese pie in a chocolate crust with a cherry topping.

I always had to have a chocolate pie.  I’m partial to a chocolate pecan pie with its crunchy filling.

But for sheer, smooth, decadence, nothing beats a French silk pie. (It can be made with white chocolate.)

French Silk Pie

This recipe makes a delightful silk pie whether it’s made from chocolate or white chocolate.  It is silky smooth and luscious and the filling sets firmly for nice cuts and picture-perfect presentations.

Ingredients

1 nine-inch pie shell, baked and cooled

3 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

 

10 ounces dark (semi-sweet) chocolate wafers  or other quality coating or eating chocolate
1/2 cup butter cut into pieces and softened

1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon French vanilla flavor

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon French vanilla flavor
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions

Add the eggs, sugar, and water to a large sauce pan. Cook the egg and sugar mixture over low to medium low heat while beating constantly with an electric mixture.  Continue cooking and beating until the mixture reaches 160 degrees being careful not to scorch the eggs.  Remove from heat.

Immediately mix the butter into the hot egg mixture with the electric mixer until smooth.  As soon as the butter is melted and while the mixture is still hot, add the chocolate wafers.  Continue beating until it is completely mixed together and cooled to room temperature.

Whip the first measure of whipping cream in your stand-type mixer with the whip attachment until stiff peaks form.  Add the French vanilla flavor.

Change from the whip attachment to the paddle attachment. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the whipped cream. Turn the mixer onto the slow speed setting and gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Mix for less than a minute, until the chocolate is mixed into the whipped cream.  Scrape the filling into the prepared pie pan. Set aside and let chill.

When you are about ready to serve, whip the second measure of whipping cream.  As the cream is whipping and after the peaks start to form, drizzle in the sugar and add the flavor. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pie filling.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

If you love rich, gooey chocolate and pecan pie, this is the recipe for you. It’s easy to make; just mix melted chocolate into your pecan pie filling.

If a chocolate pecan pie sounds good to you, try this recipe. Since pecan pies tend to be sweet, we like the robust flavor of bittersweet chocolate rather than the sweeter milk or semisweet chocolate—but suit yourself.

Ingredients

3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

1 nine-inch pie shell

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate. In a large bowl, beat the chocolate, melted butter, brown sugar, and eggs together. Add the corn syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. After the filling is well mixed, stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pie tests done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Baker’s note: We first made this pie with four ounces of bittersweet chocolate. When we took a poll of the crew, some thought the pie too chocolaty, so we cut it back to three ounces—though the real chocolate fanatics liked it just the way it was.

Test for doneness in one of two ways. Jiggle the pie gently to see if the filling is still liquid. The center will still be slightly soft, but the heat of the pecan pie will continue to cook the filling after the pie is removed from the oven. If you are not confident in this method, insert a thin-bladed knife one inch from the center. If it comes out clean, your pecan pie is done.

Chocolate Cream Pie

This is a dark, decadent chocolate pie.  It easy to make.  Make it the night before and let it chill overnight.

For the chocolate crust:

1 1/2 cups add water only pie crust mix
3 tablespoons rich, dark cocoa—Ramstadt Breda or equal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

For the chocolate filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rich, dark cocoa—Ramstadt Breda or equal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust:

In a medium bowl, mix the pie crust mix, cocoa, and sugar together with a fork.  Some white lumps will remain. Add the water and continue mixing.  Pour the mixture onto a counter.

Knead the mixture on the counter into a uniform ball.  White streaks will remain—most will disappear as you roll out the dough.

Roll the dough into a circle ten to eleven inches in diameter, enough to form the pie crust.  Transfer the rolled dough to a nonstick, nine-inch pie pan—not deep dish.  Trim and form the crust including a decorative edge that will act as a dam to hold in spills.

Fill the pie crust with ceramic beads or a pie chain weight to retard bubbles.  Bake for ten minutes.  Set aside.

For the filling:

In a medium saucepan, mix the cocoa, flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt together.  Gradually blend in the milk and then add the egg yolks, vanilla, and butter.

Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring continually with a whisk, until it starts to bubble and is thick.  Do not overcook.  Remove from the heat.  Scrape the filling into baked pie shell. Chill for several hours before serving.  Top with whipped cream.

About the Author 

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho. He loves to help people bake and shares his vast collection of cooking and baking knowledge on his blog as well as in his e-books and magazines. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.