Living Dangerously Through Pie

I'll live dangerously for this pie.

I'll live dangerously for this pie.

Happy Pi Day. 3/14. Didn’t realize it until I saw a piece on the Houston Chronicle’s site about pie. Nice that they mixed it up with sweet (pecan) and savory (chicken pot) pies.

But this isn’t about those pies. This is about My Favorite Pie. Well, my second-favorite pie. But it’s My Favorite because I can’t find a recipe for my actual favorite.

So on with the danger!

$1,000 French Silk Chocolate Pie, by Mrs. H. E. Cooper, Silver Spring Maryland.*

This gem of a recipe comes from Pillsbury’s 3rd Grand National $100,000 Recipe And Baking Contest, held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, December 10, 1951 – 100 Prize-Winning Recipes Adapted for your use by Ann Pillsbury.

Something actually happened before I was before I was born.

Every so often, Mom would make this pie. It was awesome. It was the only thing she made that was edible. Probably because she followed a recipe.

The danger in this recipe is the eggs. Raw eggs. Two of them. Mom said that they get ‘cooked’ in the process of beating at medium speed for five minutes, after the addition of each egg.

I believed her like I believed the man from Multnomah County who came by every summer with a big truck and a high-power blower to shoot our field on one side, and woods on the other, with DDT to keep the mosquitos to a minimum each summer.

“Just wait an hour, then you can go back to playing in the field.”

We always did what we were told to do.

I believed her because I didn’t detect slimy eggs when I ate the pie. This no-bake filling takes over 10 minutes to mix. For-ever. The eggs must have been cooked.

I never did get salmonella, and somehow survived the DDT. I guess the proof exists: I had children who have grown into normal adults without weird appendages or learning disabilities, and I still have all my body parts.

Anyway, this is, by far, the best pie ever. The proof is in the years of use the recipe book (it doesn’t say cookbook anywhere), from where this recipe resides, shows the wear/tear/pie filling of repeated joyful culinary preparation.

If you live dangerously, the recipe follows.**

And just to cover my ass, this recipe book was copyrighted in 1952. Here’s a link to Pillsbury’s Bake-Off site so I don’t get into trouble.

Oddly, it’s the 47th Bake-Off. If the 1951 Bake-Off was the 3rd, wouldn’t that make the 2014 Bake-Off the 66th?

Amazing, pies are round. We apply pi: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, will 66 become 47? Magical day.

Here’s the recipe:

Crust – the pie shell is a traditional flour crust. I usually buy ready-made or a crust mix. If you really want to make a scratch crust, here’s a lovely recipe.

My sis prefers this pie in a graham cracker crust. You can do that too. I like the original version, though, and why add all the carbs?

Filling (the best part, and you can eat it right out of the bowl)


1/2 cup butter, then add gradually
3/4 cup sugar, creaming well

Blend in:

1 square (1 oz.) chocolate, melted and cooled (they don’t state, but I use semi-sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add in:

2 eggs, one at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition (With electric mixer use medium speed) [this was the ‘50’s after all]


into cooled, baked pie shell, Chill 1 to 2 hours. Before serving top with whipped cream and walnuts, if desired. [Walnuts? Nope, don't need them]

And by the way, my favorite pie is Plush Pippin’s (a restaurant in the Great Northwest which is sadly gone) Sour Cream Pineapple pie. My coworker Jana and I, during a particularly desperate time,  bought one and ate it for lunch with chopsticks because we didn’t have forks and were too proud to go to the kitchen and expose the fact that we were willing to eat an entire (almost) pie for lunch. I cannot find a decent recipe for this pie.

*$1,000 in 1951 equates to $9,321.96 in 2014.

** Never consume raw or uncooked foods.***

*** I see this on every menu, so I thought I’d add it for flair and professionalism.