Pi Day

This is a repeat of a pie that I love to make, but do not make often enough. Lots of people think that National Pie Day (January 23rd)** is Pie Day, but for me  – this is Pi Day. Yep. I am that nerd. 3.14D&D_9457

This is also Albert Einstein’s birthday if you can imagine that. Not that he really had much to do with Pi, but …. science nerdism.

i8Σπ – I am ate (me) some pie. It is a total nerd joke, but there it is.

I was young in one of my first jobs. This proper job, because I was not going to go to college (how things change), was at a regional office of a fast food restaurant. One of our things was birthday celebrations for those of us in the office. And celebrations equaled pies from Village Inn. While I’m not a huge chocolate fan, and it was not my pie to order (read: lemon), French Silk was a favorite of just about everyone. My friend Marie gave me her recipe at the time and I made and enjoyed it, and while I cannot find it now, this one is not to far off the mark, and also better than I remember. It’s not too sweet, light, but slightly rich too. Small pieces are in order.

I was surprised to find that the name French Silk Pie didn’t translate to everyone. By definition, French Silk is a mousse-like chocolate pie. Am I being, as I’m often accused, a food snob again? Probably. And yes, raw eggs are used – get over it.

French Silk Pie
1 9″ pie crust, baked and cooled *
4 ozs bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks, unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Additional whipping cream, for topping – which I never seem to make.

Heat the chocolate in a microwave on medium power until melted. Whisk in vanilla and espresso powder, if using, and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Add 2 eggs and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the remaining egg and beat for another 3 minutes until the mixture is silly and smooth.

Fold the chilled whipped cream into chocolate filling until no visible white streaks remain. Pour filling into prepared pie crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight. Decorate with freshly whipped cream – again – never seem to do. Sigh.

Source: The Kitchn

Notes: I used my graham cracker crust* from the Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake, my go to cheesecake recipe that never fails to impress. Here are the details:

5 ozs graham crackers (1 sleeve)
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse crackers, sugar, and salt to mix together. Add melted butter, and pulse to incorporate. Press into pie plate and refrigerate until needed.

** I shall disabuse you of this idea, because honestly it just too easy. And you may say this is too easy too – repeating something you’ve done before, but I think this the funny bit – to be honest. And I have to go out of town this week, so there is no one to make pie for at this point. And that makes me slightly sad. But this pie really is worth a repeat.

January – March 2016 – Food “Holidays” Recap

Super Bowl – February 7

Spiced Pecans * Roast Beef Horseradish Sandwich * Bacon-wrapped Fruit Bites * Buffalo Rolls * Proscuitto Fontina Pinwheels * Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Torte *

Mardi Gras Pot Luck – February 9

Mardi Gras Sugar Cookies *  Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Torte *

Margarita Day – February 22

Leap Day – February 29

Apple Carrot Cupcakes *

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Apple Carrot Muffins – slightly amazing. And, no. I’m not bragging.

Pi Day – March 14

Apple Walnut Pie *

Butter Pie Crust *

St Patrick’s Day – March 17

Guinness Brownies *

Easter – March 27

Not sure yet, but I have a few days to sort it out. Yikes.


Butter Pie Crust

So I had been trying to think of what kind of pie to make for Pi Day. I do love this idea of Pi Day. It makes me smile. It also pushes me to make pie in the early spring instead of my usually fall pie baking season.

First thing, I want to make sure to make my own crust, which I don’t always do – sad, I know, but I’m going to find a good and kind of foolproof pie crust because this little fool needs some help in that department.

Wait for it – I found a great pie crust recipe – woo hoo! Yes, I am a total dork.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp table salt
16 Tbs unsalted butter, very cold*

In a measuring cup, add ice cubes, and fill with cold tap water. Put flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Dice butter into small pieces and sprinkle on the flour mixture. Pulse mixture until the butter is kind of like small peas.

Add the cold water, but no ice cubes, to the mixture a tablespoon at a time and pulse a few times. Add more water as needed until the dough come together in bigger clumps. Dump the dough out on a slightly floured work surface and kneed a couple time until it comes together.

Divide dough in half and press into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate overnight. Dough can be kept in the fridge for a week or freeze, once double wrapped, for about a month.

Notes: * I took my butter right out of the freezer. Which is where I store butter. It is a good place.

This dough was so easy to work with. I was slightly astonished by it  but very pleased at the same time.

I cannot wait to make another pie with this crust. It is so easy to work with. This is now my D&D_1269go-to pie crust.  I do love my food processor – yep – that is how a pie crust comes together.

I so wish I had a picture of this pie crust, but I think the apple walnut pie may show it. It really is kind of nice.

 

 

Apple Walnut Pie

Yep – this is Pi Day. And I actually prepared ahead of time for it. Who knew?  Well, I knew, because there is pretty much no way I’m doing anything in the kitchen on a Monday (groan). D&D_1269

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
Butter Pie Crust, chilled and rolled out into a pie plate and chilled again

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pie pan with cooking spray. Roll out pie dough to 1/8 inch and spread over pie pan tucking excess dough into sides. Crimp around the edges. It is so pretty.

In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour into pie shell.

Bake until crust is golden and filling is set, 50 – 60 minutes. Let cool before serving a cuple of hours or overnight.

Notes: I kind of did the pie because I had apples and walnuts and the filling was so brown sugar-laden that I could not help myself. It is damn near amazing, and I not one to give fawning praise, but stupid good could apply in this case. I think I will be eating this for breakfast tomorrow – no matter how wrong that seems. Don’t care.