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    I Made Joanna Gaines' Famous Chocolate Pie Recipe (And It Was Ridiculously Good)

    Jo says it's the most requested dessert in her house — and after making it, I can see why.

    Hey, I'm Emily! I'm not much of a baker, but I've gotten a lot more into it since all of this *gestures wildly at everything* happened.

    The author
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    One of the baking-centric cookbooks that's made its way into my kitchen lately has been the new one from Joanna Gaines: Magnolia Table: Volume 2.

    The Magnolia Cookbook, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering cookbook
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    It's one of the best-selling new cookbooks of 2020 so far, and it also has at least one dessert that people have been quar-baking like crazy. (See: My co-worker Jasmin's glowing review of Joanna's chocolate chip cookies, which she said were basically life-changing. 🍪)

    You can get Magnolia Table: Volume 2 on Amazon for $13.87, Barnes & Noble for $25.99, or Bookshop for $32.20.

    All of this gave me reason to dig into the book — and one recipe that quickly caught my eye was Joanna's French Silk Pie.

    Joanna Gaines' French Silk Pie
    Courtesy of Magnolia Table

    Find the full recipe at the bottom of this post! 😋

    For one thing, Joanna says it's the most requested dessert in her household.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Rich chocolate filling, fluffy whipped cream, perfectly crumbly crust. MAKES SENSE.

    So I decided to try it! One really useful thing about this pie is that Joanna offers two versions of it: a shortcut version with store-bought crust and Reddi Wip on top — and then a fully from-scratch one.

    I started with the shortcut version:

    A storebought pie crust, sugar, powdered sugar, eggs, chocolate, vanilla, and heavy cream
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    And I am so glad that I did! As with most baking recipes, Joanna’s French Silk Pie recipe involves some ~very specific instructions.~ For example, the timing is pretty regimented and just about every ingredient must be whisked separately before you can fold them all together.

    But as long as you follow the directions, it all comes together in a pretty straight-forward way.

    A pie crust with a chocolate filling
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    Although fair warning: it's not the *quickest* pie — even with the shortcuts. You need to build in time for the chocolate mousse to cool in the fridge for several hours.

    The shortcut version of the French Silk Pie looked beautiful and tasted great — but left some room for improvement.

    The author cutting into the storebought version of the French Silk Pie
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    As the great Ina Garten would say: store-bought is fine. But that's basically it — the Marie Callendar pre-frozen pie crust was.... fine. The Reddi Wip also looked and tasted fine, but it totally deflated after a few hours in the fridge.

    But the filling was really good! And because of that, I wanted to try it again with Joanna's recipe for from-scratch crust and whipped toping. HOWEVER. My first attempt.... did not go well. 😑😑

    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    Basically, I botched the crust because I confused the flour and the powdered sugar. I also used a Boston shaker as a rolling pin, which resulted in a pretty sad and uneven dough. I ALSO didn’t have enough pie weights to totally fill out the crust, so the exposed dough bubbled and the edges shrunk a bit. It still tasted really good but it turned out a tad too crispy and just generally ugly.

    But not to be deterred, I re-did it a few days later, making sure I had the right tools this time. It came out nearly perfect — and was WELL worth the extra effort:

    Dough molded to a tart pan next to a steel roller on a baking mat
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    I bought this truly amazing rolling kit that I think is an absolute must for all bakers. The stainless steel rolling pin comes with four rings that allow you to easily (and evenly) roll dough to the correct thickness. The silicone mat provides guidelines so that you don't have to pull out a ruler every time you bake a pie.

    These tools were incredibly helpful, but I made one mistake: I left the dough out of the fridge for a few minutes too long. You want the dough soft enough to manipulate but hard enough that it won’t fall apart when you transfer it into the tart pan. I used a few pieces of scrap dough to fill in the holes, and it was totally fine, but I think I’ll be able to make it 100% perfectly the next time around.

    Same with the whipped topping: Waaay better than the Reddi Wip. Don't waste your time with the canned stuff!

    The homemade version of the French Silk Pie next to two spoons
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    I knew the homemade whip would be better, but not THAT much better. It was so fluffy and rich but without that weird metallic sweetness. It's also the easiest part of the whole process if you have a stand-mixer. (And if you don't, totally fine — just takes a few minutes longer to whip it into that magical consistency.)

    The result was ridiculously delicious – and I can see why it's a favorite in her house.

    The homemade version of the French Silk Pie next to the recipe and two spoons
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    The texture was amazing: fluffy whipped cream, creamy chocolate filling, crispy crust, and chunky chips of dark chocolate. (Pro tip: Messily chopping the chocolate made it look and taste way better than shaving it did.) Together, it all tasted super rich and impressive.

    It's a little scary how quickly my ego bounces from "You can't even bake a pie!" to "Joanna, who?!?!" I guess that’s why people love baking so much — if you get enough practice, just about anyone can make themselves a gorgeous, decadent treat that should impress just about everyone.

    If you have time, the 100% homemade French Silk Pie is worth it — but you really can't go wrong either way.

    The homemade version of the French Silk Pie and the Magnolia Table, Volume 2 cookbook
    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    If you really want to capture the true magic of this recipe, making the crust and whipped cream is an absolute must, IMO. That being said, if you’re short on time but want to impress your guests: stick a frozen tart crust in the oven, whip up a decadent chocolate filling, and top your masterpiece with some Reddi Wip and broken chocolate. They definitely won’t be disappointed.

    Want to try it yourself? Here are the full recipes for the pie, crust, and whipped cream:

    1) Joanna Gaines' French Silk Pie:

    INGREDIENTS

    ⅔ cup granulated sugar

    2 large eggs

    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    ⅓ cup (⅔ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    ⅔ cup heavy cream

    ¼ cup powdered sugar

    1 pre-baked 9-inch pie crust or tart shell

    Whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate, for garnish

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture reaches 160ºF and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for approximately 5 minutes.

    2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

    3. In another large bowl, beat the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed, then gradually return to medium-high until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

    4. Pour into the prebaked pie crust or tart shell. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

    5. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired.

    7. Store covered in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

    2) Homemade Tart Shell:

    INGREDIENTS

    1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

    ½ cup powdered sugar

    ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed

    1 large egg

    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt until fully combined. Add the cold butter and mix until the dough is crumbly and the butter resembles small peas. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix just until fully combined. Be sure not to overmix or the dough will be tough. The dough should stick together when pressed without feeling dry or crumbly.

    2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball; it should come together easily without being sticky. Flatten the ball slightly with your hands to form a thick disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    3. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch round that is ¼ inch thick. Place gently into a 9-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. You can do this by flouring a rolling pin and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan and easing it into the edges. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. (Frozen dough is less prone to shrinking while baking.)

    4. If the recipe calls for an unbaked crust, you're ready to go ahead. If it calls for a blind-baked crust, position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.

    5. Lay a sheet of parchment paper or foil over the tart crust, fitting it into the bottom of the pan and covering the edges of the crust to keep it from burning. Fill the bottom of the tart pan with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice, making sure they're distributed over the entire surface.

    6. Bake the crust until the parchment paper or foil no longer sticks to the dough, about 20 minutes. Transfer the crust to a wire rack and remove the pie weights and parchment paper or foil. Return the crust to the oven and bake until golden brown and dry, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    7. Proceed with filling the tart shell according to the recipe.

    3) Homemade Whipped Cream

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pint heavy cream

    ¼ cup powdered sugar

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Start on low speed, then slowly turn the mixer up to high speed and continue mixing on high for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and the cream holds a soft peak when you pull the whisk out of the bowl.

    From Magnolia Table: Volume 2 by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2020 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

    For this recipe and others Magnolia Table: Volume 2 on Amazon for $13.87 (also available for the Kindle), Barnes & Noble for $25.99 (also available as a Nook book), or Bookshop for $32.20.