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all in a day

Recipe: french silk pie

I was packing a few last kitchen items Tuesday evening when I looked up to see a nice rosy glow on James Peak. It’s been a while since I’ve had the leisure to notice sunset because our time has been sucked up with a project of sorts.


sunset on james peak



Early Wednesday morning, we piled a bunch of stuff, ourselves, two mountain bikes, and the dog into two cars and headed west because we had an appointment at noon. Jeremy took Kaweah in the Outback (Subie) and I followed in the WRX (Roo). He told me later that she faced backwards for the first 30 minutes to see where I was before she settled down for the 4.5 hour drive.

the view from the gas station at copper mountain

road trippin’ through colorado

we closed on a great little place in crested butte!

i celebrated with a raspberry lime fizzy drink avec umbrella



This post is coming to you from the new Crested Butte branch of use real butter! Butter headquarters remains in Nederland (near Boulder), but I’ll be working periodically from the CB office too. We’re still unpacking stuff, but Kaweah really digs the new place and every window has a view of a towering snowy mountain (because we are surrounded by towering snow-capped mountains). So let’s celebrate with some pie – some French silk pie. It’s super smooth which might be why it has “silk” in the name, but if you’ve ever chomped on silk (which I have), it’s got NOTHING on this pie!

am i right?



Start with the crust. I made a chocolate cookie crumb crust. Actually, I originally crushed a bunch of organic chocolate graham cracker bunnies (Annie’s brand), but the color was too light for what I had in mind. Those crumbs went into a bag for later projects and I resorted to an organic Oreo cookie (Newman-O’s). You know the drill, split the cookies open and scrape off the cream filling, then introduce the chocolate cookies to the food processor.

for the crust: organic oreos, butter, sugar, vanilla extract

scrape away the cream filling

combine cookie crumbs, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter

press into a pie plate or baking pan and bake



Now on to the silky (but really, they mean buttery, delicate, airy, melt-in-your-mouth) filling. If you care at all about making good food, then I suggest using quality dark chocolate. Also, if you care at all about quality dark chocolate, don’t tank a batch of filling by combining the ingredients in the wrong order like I did. That ended badly.

filling: chocolate, vanilla, sugar, butter, espresso powder, eggs, cream

chop the chocolate

stir vanilla and espresso powder into melted chocolate



Now beat the butter and sugar together until they are in a light and fluffy coexistence. Then add the chocolate mixture. Then add the eggs. Don’t add the eggs before the chocolate, because that is what I did the first time and it sucked. Now when you beat the eggs in, the mixture will curdle and look like a major fail, but you have to let it continue beating for the full 3-5 minutes. Eventually, your filling with turn into a smooth and sexy chocolate filling. Finally, fold in whipped cream. This made my filling turn fluffy rather than smooth despite making sure I whipped the cream to soft peaks, but it all works out. Trust me.

beat the sugar into the butter

add the chocolate mixture

add the eggs (first two then one)

folding into whipped cream



Pile the filling onto the crust. You can do this in a pie plate or a baking pan or a springform pan – totally up to you. The filling is smoothed and then refrigerated. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, but overnight is better. When you are ready to serve the pie, whip some heavy cream to top it off however you like.

pour the filling onto the crust

smooth the top

just before serving, whip some cream

decorate the pie however you like



If you don’t have the patience or skill to make chocolate scrolls – never fear! Grate or shred some chocolate onto the whipped cream and call it good. I like chocolate scrolls, but I do not like making them. I must admit that chocolate scrolls (or ruffles, but I have yet to produce consistently attractive chocolate ruffles) do add a little height to the pie, which is always nice. So there you have it! And how does it taste? The taste is excellent, but the texture is divine. Not bad for a French silk pie which is neither French nor silk!

different tempting layers

from above

french silk pie, at your service


French Silk Pie
[print recipe]
adapted from this recipe at The Kitchn

cookie crust
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

chocolate filling
8 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream

whipped cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tbsps sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined. It should look like wet topsoil. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate or a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the filling: Melt the dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove or in a medium bowl on low power for a minute at a time in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the espresso powder and vanilla extract. Set aside. Beat the butter on medium with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer for a minute. Add the sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Add the chocolate and beat until it is completely incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture. Add 2 of the 3 eggs to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes (don’t underbeat). Add the last egg and beat on medium for 3 minutes (again, do not underbeat – it will actually become silky). Whip the cream in another bowl to medium peaks. Fold the chilled whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until you can no longer see streaks of whipped cream or chocolate. Pour the filling onto the crust and smooth the top. Cover the pie and refrigerate overnight.

Make the whipped cream: Right before you are ready to serve the pie, combine the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form (wet, not dry – dry means you overwhipped it and it will break rather than flow).

Pipe or top the pie with the whipped cream. Garnish the cake with shaved chocolate or chocolate curls. Serves 12.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

chocolate espresso pecan pie blueberry pie bourbon peach hand pies butterscotch and milk chocolate puddings

41 nibbles at “all in a day”

  1. Kathya says:

    Oh man this looks fantastic! So exciting about the new house. XO

  2. Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse says:

    Best wishes to your new HQ =P I love your stories about Kaweah, makes me wish I weren’t allergic and that I had a dog growing up!

  3. debbie says:

    Congratulations on the new headquarters!!!

  4. farmerpam says:

    Looking forward to seeing photos of CB. Pup looks sooooo happy! Congrats on this new chapter of your life.

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I’ve been wanting to try a recipe like this for so long! Love this idea!

  6. Kristin says:

    Looks delicious, and congrats on the new house!

  7. Twila says:

    1) Yum! Will have to make this sometime. 2) My husband and I were living in CB ski bumming when we met and a year later we celebrated there with a big outdoor party. It holds a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to see more of your stunning photos from that neck of the woods!

  8. Laura Levy says:

    Ok…. not sure what I love more…

    1) Kawaeh facing backwards for 30 min….
    2) “Roo” and “Subie”
    3) the new CB diggs…
    4) or this awesome pie (made w/ organic Oreos of course!)

    Doesn’t matter, love it all! The house looks wonderful and I know you’ll be very inspired there! Love CB!

  9. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    Congrats on your new headquarters! This pie looks divine!

  10. Erin says:

    Congrats on the new hq! Glad the three of you are enjoying it.

    Also, is naming Subarus a law? Our blue Legacy has been ‘Subie’ since it first came home.

  11. Eve Fox says:

    Damn, girl! That looks amazingly good! And your new place isn’t half bad either. Congrats!

  12. sallybr says:

    Whaaat? You DID NOT make your own oreos this time? :-) (could not resist)

    Congrats on the new place, looks awesome!

  13. deb says:

    Congratulations!

  14. Bri says:

    Congrats on the new place! Can’t wait for a tour of the new “neighborhood!”

  15. Mrs Ergül says:

    Congrats on the new branch!!! Can’t wait to see the magic you put in it!

    “Different tempting layers” just about sums this dessert up just right!

  16. Susanne says:

    So happy for you!

  17. haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog says:

    Congrats! And this pie looks absolutely amazing. I think I’m going to make it for a dinner party tomorrow night.

  18. Elizabeth - SugarHero.com says:

    Congratulations! This pie looks like the perfect way to celebrate. I’ve only ever had silk pies at diners (…I know…) and I’m sure they can’t compare to a homemade version!

  19. GwenO says:

    Great pie and great news about the CB home. I know y’all will love it. Gosh, I will continue to wonder how you have time to do so much living in one home, now two!

  20. Laura B says:

    Congrats on the new home!!

  21. Rose says:

    Oh, Jen! This was a most fabulous post on so many levels. First of all, congratulations to you, Jeremy, and K-pup. A place in CB! We went for a long weekend this winter and want to return this summer. We went to the Montanya Rum distillery and have to go back. I was going to ask you for advice on the best time to go. We want to see the wildflowers but not be mobbed by the crowds, Secondly, French Silk Pie? Incredible. I first made it back in the 60′s from a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe. It’s been a staple in my repertoire ever since. Organic Oreos? Who knew? I made a chocolate peanut butter pie for Pi Day this year and tried Oreos for the crust. I didn’t remove the filling and it worked just fine.

  22. Dee says:

    This looks soo good!!!!

  23. Kelley says:

    I have to ask….what did you do with that plateful of cream filling? Please tell me you didn’t throw that goodness out!!!

  24. jill says:

    Enjoy your second office!!!!! Sounds like a sanctuary! Are wildflowers starting? Any, by the way….YUM!

  25. Christine says:

    Congrats on the new house! It looks and sounds amazing.

    I love your stories about Kaweah. She’s the sweetest!

  26. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    Great recipe. Great house. Love Crested Butte. Don’t know you, but must admit, it seems so you! Congrats!

  27. lilly says:

    about the eggs on the filing, how do they cook or don’t cook? love colorado!

  28. DeeDee says:

    I spent some time in Nederland when I was a young hippy. That would have been 22 years ago!
    I’ve not been to Crested Butte, but when I see pictures, I want to cry from the beauty of it.
    Congratulations!
    Thanks for another great recipe :)

  29. Lisa Huff @ Snappy Gourmet says:

    Gorgeous!! I think I”m going to be craving this pie all night!!

  30. JaneM says:

    Seems to me that you have found a piece of heaven with your new abode. How wonderful! Incidentally, is it possible to use pasteurized eggs in lieu of the raw eggs without any degradation in texture or flavor? With Crohn’s, I am concerned about potential Salmonella risks. Thank you for another excellent recipe.

  31. Margie says:

    Congratulations!

    Oh, that pie is beautiful, just like the second abode.

    :)

  32. Jen says:

    Not that I would judge for scraping the cream filling off (and…eating it??!!), but you can throw the whole cookie in to make crust. I used Oreos all the time to make a chocolate cookie crust and just use the whole cookie and it is DE-LICIOUS!

  33. Glico says:

    I will try to make it.

  34. Sophie says:

    Congratulations! Your new place looks wonderful! And your pie photos are stunning. Your photos always are, but these especially! Thanks for always being an inspiration to take care with each component used in cooking…. beginning with the right ingredients makes for much better eating. So awesome! I’m really taking it to heart. xo!

  35. jenyu says:

    Thanks, everyone! We’re pretty excited about the new place too :) xo

    Erin – I think everyone calls their subie “Subie”. But when we got the second car, we had to come up with something else, so Roo seemed appropriate (Subie & Roo) ;)

    sallybr – I was tempted! but being so short on time, I went for the organic O’s :)

    Rose – the wildflower festival is usually in early to mid July, so that’s typically a good bet and I haven’t found it to be terribly busy (then again, I hike in). But there are so many species that are peaking at different times that you will probably find a good amount of flowers wherever you go starting in mid June through August. We saw tiny larkspur and bluebells popping up while we were there this past week. I think it’s going to be a good year! Thanks for the tip on the oreos :)

    Kelley – uh… I threw it out :) Jeremy wanted to eat it, but I wouldn’t let him.

    jill – yes, the very earliest of them are just showing, but nothing major. Give it another month and it will be gangbusters.

    lilly – the eggs are raw in this recipe, but you can use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned.

    JaneM – yes, you can use pasteurized eggs according to the recipe at The Kitchn. I’m not sure how much it differs, but they probably wouldn’t list it as an option if it really compromised the texture/flavor.

    Jen – thanks for the tip!

    Sophie – thank you :)

  36. Stefanie says:

    the pie looks scrumptious! and congrats on your new place! :)

  37. Carmen Shenk says:

    I made this french silk recipe and piped it into chocolate shells and served it with fresh fruit on top. It was a huge hit! Thanks for such an excellent recipe and for making it printable. Well done!

  38. Lauren@GreenGlobalTrvl says:

    Great view from the gas station. The snowy peaks must have been at such a high altitude. Thanks for posting and good luck with future travels.

  39. Michele O'Brien says:

    Is the espresso powder really necessary? I am very sensitive to coffee, is it possible to substitute or make it without?

  40. jenyu says:

    Michele – I think you could get away with omitting it. It’s such a small amount anyway.

  41. phyllis says:

    NOW THiS iS JUSSST FAN TAB U LUSSS.. and i feel slightly guilty cuz i said that VERY thing on another chocolate recipe….BUT THiS MY DEAR iS SUPERLY DUPERLY fantabulUSS…i saved it and named it “off the chain french silk pie”

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