Monday, January 1, 2018

Best Pie Crust & French Silk Pie

I know it's just after the holidays and NO ONE wants to think about sweets BUT file this one away for mid-January when your sweet tooth starts acting up again!  This French Silk Pie is our "Family Pie" for holidays but really, it's a show-stopper for any dinner and your guests will be very impressed!  
The recipe came from a church cookbook and I have seriously been making this for Thanksgiving and Christmas for over 30 years . . . you can tell by looking at the page haha!  (I'll give you a 'clean' version at the end of the post)
The pie is thick, and oh so rich! The recipe says it serves 8 but you seriously can hardly eat more than a small slice at a time so really, I'd say you can serve 10 with this recipe. The hardest part of this pie is you MUST beat each of the four eggs for FIVE minutes EACH.  Now, until this Christmas, I'd always just had a hand mixer so I would set up everything at the kitchen table, sit and read a book while beating!  This Christmas my wonderful hubby bought me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer (and I hadn't even asked for one!!).  So the next time I whip this up . . . oh it will be SOOOOOO easy!
Often I will use a store-bought crust but if I have the time, I much prefer making my own and I'd like to share THE best pie crust recipe I've ever used (I've also been using this recipe for over 30 years!).
It's "old school" and comes from this well-used, well-loved Hungarian cookbook (both of my parents are Hungarian).  The recipe is simple, I think it's really the technique that makes this what it is.
Do you see that it tells you to cut in HALF of your lard/shortening first to the consistence of "meal" and THEN cut in the remainder but coarsely?  Do it.  Trust me.  It makes all the difference!  Years ago I began using 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening because I feel like it's a richer crust but you can use all shortening (or lard hahaha! Now THERE's something we don't often find in recipes today!)  Prick crust and bake as you would any other crust.
Lard is pig fat and many of us remember our parents or grandparents saving it up in coffee cans under the sink after frying pork chops or bacon.  You CAN buy lard that is a 'cleaner', purer version than that we usually stored up under the kitchen sink.   
Now I HOPE if you are going to the trouble of making a crust from scratch that you are NOT tossing the scraps of dough!  Brush on a little melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes until bubbly and crisp on the edges . . . oh it is heavenly!

What a treat this always was for my kids!
Now you can see how this puffs up and is such a flaky crust!
I always top this pie with real whipped cream.  If you stabilize the whipped cream, it will not 'weep' and become runny.  In fact, you can even pipe it as I did and it will hold up for days and days in the refrigerator.  Directions for this will be at the bottom with the French Silk Pie recipe.  You can top it with shaved chocolate as well.  Since I served this at Christmas I added chopped Ande's peppermint bark.
Did your sweet tooth come to life again??  Okay, maybe it's still too soon but when it DOES, pull this out and give it a try!

Homemade French Silk Pie

Baked 9" pie crust
1 c softened margarine (you can use butter but IMO it's almost too rich with butter)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3 squares (3 oz.) Bakers unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/2 t vanilla
4 eggs

Whipped cream for topping

Cream margarine and sugar at highest mixer speed.  Blend in the cooled chocolate (DO not add the chocolate until it is completely cooled or the pie will be runny).  Add vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time beating five minutes at high speed after each addition (total time 20 minutes).  Pour into baked shell and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. I find it best to make the day before and refrigerate for a day.  Top with whipped cream and nuts or shaved chocolate.

Stabilized Whipped Cream

In a pan combine 1 t unflavored gelatin with 4 t cold water and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Heat on stove until gelatin melts but don't let it boil.  Remove from heat and let it cool (but don't let it thicken).  Whip your cream until it starts to thicken and add 3-4 T powdered sugar.  Slowly stream the gelatin liquid in while continuing to beat until the cream is stiff.

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 








  1. Oh my gosh Lauren I think I gained 10lbs just reading your recipe. This pie looks sooooo good. I think making the crust and making small little cinnamon sugar bites would be good all by themselves too. Yum! Happy New Year.

  2. Oh, my! This looks amazing!!! My husband and son would love this one! Thank you so much for sharing...I have pinned away and hope to try it someday! Happy New Year to you and yours, sweet friend. :)

  3. My sweet tooth is always with me, Lauren, and I honor it!! Haha!!
    My Mom used to make this very same pie, and I know how wonderful it is. The pie crust sounds great, and I always used to make little pinwheels with my leftover scraps, as my late beloved liked them.
    Your pie looks picture-perfect!! Happy New Year!!

  4. Oh wow, this sounds wonderful! I have never made a silk pie. I do bake up the leftover crust pieces with sugar and cinnamon. It is the best! Thanks for sharing your recipe. The ones you have been making forever are always the best.

  5. Oh my!
    I am looking forward to having a piece of this soon!
    My daughter Peyton is a baker...
    And we like to have a special treat at least once a week!
    Thank you. : )

  6. What an amazing pie! Thanks for sharing all the recipe's. I love making crusts from scratch, and this is a pie I will tuck away to try someday! Hope you have a beautiful day!
    ps...I never throw away any leftover dough....I cook it and then dip it in applesauce or pudding. :)

  7. Oh, this pie looks incredible! It looks like a Yummy chocolate filling, and I like how you sprinkled the peppermint bark on top. I didn't know your parents are both Hungarian. I love this old cook book. I have the original Betty Crocker from way back. What a delicious treat for the new year.

    Happy New Year, Lauren! Although I will be taking a break from posting, I will visit your sweet blog and I hope you come by and say hi to the girls when they post too. : )


    ps....the cinnamon and sugar doughs you made look like a treat my mom made for us, but she made them with fried tortillas and cinnamon and sugar. : )

  8. Oh My Gosh- that sounds fantastic. I have never HEARD of stabilized whipped cream. I can't believe it holds up like that! I am saving this recipe to try later. My daughter always used lard (from the grocers) in her pie crusts and she makes the best pies I have ever eaten...a lot like my mother's pies.
    Happy New Year- xo Diana

  9. YUM, YUM! I wish I could say that I am not in the mood for sweets; but my sweet tooth never dies! I have started using half lard, half shortening in my pie crusts lately and boy does it make it ever so flaky! Yours looks divine!

  10. mmmmm - this sounds SO good! Thank you. Happy 2018!!

  11. Happy New Year, Lauren! You can count me as another perpetual sweet tooth. Your scrumptious pie is the perfect way to kick off 2018. YUM!

  12. OMG Lauren, I just read this because it sounds so delicious; and then I noticed your recipe book and you said that both your parents are Hungarian. Would you believe that both my parents were Hungarian and both sets of my grandparents came across the ocean from Hungary! I use a different recipe for my pie crusts, but when we have leftover dough, we roll it into as much of a circle that we can and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and then roll it like a jellyroll. I bake it along with the pie and it's so delicious!

  13. Any time of the year is a good time for sweets! Making a better pie crust is on my list of things to do in this new year and I like your recipe. My mom and aunts only used lard for their crusts and I remember them being very flaky. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope your week is going great.

  14. Lauren, I love all kinds of pie crusts - it's not so much the ingredients as it is the technique. And I can see from the pictures of your crust that you have the technique down! I always make all-butter crusts, a friend uses all organic lard, another all shortening. She's famous for her pies, but I just can't bring myself to eat shortening! Half butter and half lard would probably be good, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm so glad your husband got you a stand mixer - I was chuckling at you there at the table using your hand mixer and reading a book!

    1. I agree Jean - I think it's definitely in the technique. I know - I don't use shortening for anything except this crust. I've had the same little container for over a year haha! I'm really tempted to try the lard though . . . after I fast for a week lol!

  15. I always use half butter and half shortening in my crust too and don't overwork it! Love the cinnamon treats! Happy new year my friend. Don't come South this's cold down here too! (not AS cold...but cold! heehee) Hugs, Diane

  16. Ooo...this looks like something I need to try. My youngest daughter is home for school break and I'm sure she'll want to try this. Pinned.

  17. This looks wonderful. I will be trying this pie crust because I haven't had success with store bought. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hi Lauren, just hopping back to let you know that you will be featured at SYC tomorrow.

  19. Your pie looks wonderful!I love your recipes book too!Hugs!


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