This semester, I’m teaching a course on campaigns & elections for college students interning in DC for the semester. Less than halfway through the semester, I have a new-found respect for teachers and professors — this takes a *lot* more time than I realized. But, it’s been a rewarding experience so far.
Of my eight students, two had birthdays early in the semester. For the first one, a classmate brought in cupcakes, so I offered to bring in dessert for the second. When I asked what he wanted, he requested pie. What kind?
Challenge accepted! I pulled out this favorite from my files — it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate. :)
Some people prefer a traditional pie crust, but I like graham for this. I don’t own a food processor right now, so I just picked up a pre-made crust. The disposable pan also meant I didn’t have to worry about tracking down my pan later. Win-win.
French Silk Pie
Adapted from Gourmet
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
3 c whole milk
5 oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
Prepared 9″ graham cracker pie crust
3/4 c heavy cream, chilled
1 Tbs sugar
Cocoa, for dusting
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and yolks until combined. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, continuing to whisk, for 1 minute (filling will be thick). Force filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then whisk in chocolates, butter, and vanilla, stirring until the chocolate and butter have melted.
Coat a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap with butter or cooking spray; press onto the surface of the filling. Cool the filling completely, about 2 hours. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust. Chill pie, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Make ahead: Pie can be chilled (without topping) up to 1 day.
Just before serving, beat cream and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Spoon on top of pie. Dust with cocoa. Serve chilled.