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Author Notes: This is my take on the French Silk Pie. I’m a huge fan of French Silk Chocolate Pies, but sometimes the richness of the chocolate can be a bit overwhelming on its own. The incorporation of the salted caramel balances the soft, delectable pie filling. For this recipe you need some sort of electric mixer and a stove. —Katerina
Makes 1 pie
grams [1 1/4 cup] flour
grams [1 stick] unsalted butter
milliliters [a little less than a cup] heavy cream/whipping cream, chilled
grams [1 cup] sugar. Divide 150 g [3/4 cups] + 50 g [1/4 cup])
tablespoons water. Divide 2 + 2
grams [7 oz] dark chocolate
teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
teaspoon vanilla extract
grams [1/4 cup] unsalted butter
- FOR THE CRUST. Crust adapted from Martha Stewart's "Easy Pie Crust" recipe. Make the crust beforehand, as it needs to be refrigerated for an hour or so before it is baked.
- Mix flour, salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut the unsalted butter into pieces and with a pastry blender, or using your hands, work the mixture until until it is cut in butter, working the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and work the mixture with your hands until the dough comes together. If the dough is crumbly, you can add up to 2 more tablespoons of water. Do not overwork.
- Flatten the dough into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Put into the pie pan and refrigerate for another hour
- Roll the dough and place in a 22-cm pie plate. Trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim. Crimp the rim. Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes at 190 Celsius (375 Fahrenheit). Line with pie weights (or dried beans).
- FOR THE FILLING. Whip the heavy cream (whipping cream) on medium until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate. If you can, refrigerate the bowl as well as your whisk, as it will make whipping much easier.
- Combine eggs, 150 g sugar and 2 tablespoons of water using a mixer. Put the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Make sure the saucepan is not warm when you pour the mixture in, since the eggs will burn otherwise (ah, experience). Stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. The best way to stir is with a handheld mixer. I don’t have one so I mixed everything well in my standalone mixer and then put them in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Keep it on the flame for 7-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture thickens considerably. Once this happens, remove the mixture from heat and continue to beat the mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in either a bain-marie or the microwave (I lazily always opt for the microwave). Set it aside.
- Start the caramel. In a saucepan, add 50 g sugar, two tablespoons of water and salt over medium heat. Stir the caramel constantly. Stop stirring when it starts to boil, but whirl it around in the saucepan. Take off the heat once it turns caramel. Pour the caramel into the melted chocolate. Make sure the mixture is not too hot before the next step.
- Beat in the egg mixture the caramel-chocolate mixture and the vanilla extract until well incorporated.
- Beat in solid, cold butter, cut in small pieces, until well combined. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature.
- Fold in refrigerated whipped cream. Pour mixture into the baked crust.
- Optional, but recommended, step: Make fresh, sweetened, whipped cream to serve.