French Chocolate Pie

Eleven years ago next month, I met the most wonderful friend ever. Her name is Emily and she is literally the first person I met when I started college at Emory University. Since then, we've travelled to the mountains of rural North Georgia, the ghost towns of Texas, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, both coasts of Scotland, and the entirety of California. She and her about-to-be-husband made the trek to France for my wedding three and a half years ago, and she visited me in Scotland last month.

Emily was there for me when I got mono in Paris, when I got the stomach flu as a freshman, when I broke my arm our sophomore year. She bought me shoes for a formal dance one time when I didn't have time to go shopping on my own, and another time she shipped me an entire bachelorette party's worth of snacks in a box when she couldn't make it to mine. She never quit being my friend even when I was terrible at keeping in touch in the years right after we graduated. She didn't get mad at me when I accused her of faking a case of whooping cough to get out of dinner plans we had made, even though the whooping cough was real. She didn't even get scared off when my mom came to visit me during my freshman year and offered to do Emily's laundry for her. She's seen me at my worst, my best, my sickest, my stupidest, and my saddest, and she's never given up on me. I can't tell you how many emails I've written to her with the simple request 'I NEED A PEP TALK,' but she never fails to tell me exactly what I need-- no matter whether the thing I am scared of is asking out a boy, passing grad school, moving across the country, getting married, or starting a new job.

The truth is, Emily has been my best friend since the day I met her (when she saved me a seat on the bus ride to our pre-orientation trip and our moms cried together as they said goodbye to their two slightly less lonely oldest daughters). Now that she's been in my life for more than a decade, I have a hard time imagining my life without her-- even though we now live eight time zones apart. When I was applying to school in Scotland, Judson and I knew that if I didn't get in, we'd be moving to the Bay Area of California-- and even though I was hoping like crazy that I'd get into school over here, part of me knew that I'd be just fine if we ended up in California, that much closer to Emily.

She's the chocolate to my peanut butter, the shameless agree-er to every single one of the dumbest plans I come up with, the voice of reason on my darkest days, and the one who talked me down from the ledge on the morning I was getting married. She's the bravest friend I have ever met, and the one least likely to broadcast her own bravery. She's my athletic friend, my scientist friend, my brilliant friend, and my baker friend. She's the Margie to my Eleanor, and the truth is that I couldn't be happier to be celebrating her marriage to an amazing guy who cares about Emily more than I can even imagine.

 Note that mixture will be grainy until the eggs are blended in for 5 minutes each.

Note that mixture will be grainy until the eggs are blended in for 5 minutes each.

 Mixture lightens and gets smooth after mixing in eggs for 5 minutes each.

Mixture lightens and gets smooth after mixing in eggs for 5 minutes each.

This week, Judson and I are in California to watch Emily and Jeff get married, and I've never been more excited about a wedding that wasn't my own. We may not live in the same city (or the same country) for several more years, but I know Emily will always be part of my life and I couldn't be prouder to be part of hers. So in honour of Emily, girlfriends, relationships, love, and marriage, I give you this chocolate pie recipe. Make it for your best friend, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy a thick slice together. Or, if you, like me, live thousands of miles from your logical family, then make this and schedule a Skype session to share your creation with your favourite person. If your bestie is anything like mine, she'll be even prouder of you than you are of yourself.

The verdict:

5 spoons out of five. This isn't a classy recipe-- in fact, quite the opposite (originally it came from the back of the lid of a container of Cool Whip, but I modded it to use real whipping cream since Cool Whip isn't much of an option here. The crust isn't my favourite crust to make-- that much shortening is difficult to keep chilled, but the flakiness makes it all worth it. The crispy crust is the perfect complement to the smooth, cool filling and although I may stick with my favourite all-butter crust for most recipes, I still recommend this one here. Made with extra bitter chocolate, fresh whipped cream, and a pinch of sea salt, this is the perfect dessert for sharing with your bestie on a day of celebration, a day where you need a pick-me-up, or a day when you just need someone to tell you that you're the bravest person they've ever met. Make this pie for someone you love-- they're worth it.

The recipe:

French Chocolate Pie

the directions:
crust:

Combine dry ingredients and make a well in the middle of the mixture.
Cut butter and shortening/Stork into pieces and place in the well of the dry ingredients.
Rub butter and shortening/Stork with your hands until it forms particles like grain.
Sprinkle with water and lemon juice, work into dough, and form into a ball.
Wrap in plastic and chill until needed, at least 15 minutes.
Roll out when needed, place in pie pan with generous border around the edge as the crust shrinks quite a bit, and bake with pie weights at least 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Set aside and allow to cool.

Pie:

Beat whipping cream by itself without adding any sweeteners.
Once cream is whipped, set aside.
Cream butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
Stir in cooled chocolate.
Add one egg, beating 4-5 minutes on high speed before adding second egg and beating for additional 4-5 minutes until very smooth.
Fold in whipped cream gently on low speed, making sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl to mix evenly.
Pour into cooled pie shell and chill until set, at least two hours.
Chill any additional filling and serve like pudding.

the ingredients:
the crust:

1 ½ c flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ c butter
¼ c shortening or Stork
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice

 

 

 


the pie:

2 c whipping cream
½ c butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 eggs