There's not much better than a cold chocolate pie on a hot summer's day, if you ask me. The one I've made twice this summer is one of the recipes I came across while researching old department store tea rooms, the famous Chocolate Silk Pie from Miller & Rhoads in Richmond, Va.
The store closed in 1990, but lots of Virginians still have fond memories of going there. This vintage postcard I found is undated but says "English Tea Room, Miller & Rhoads, Richmond, Virginia, 'The Shopping Center.'" In addition to the pretty and feminine decor, I'm intrigued by what appears to be a horse-themed mural on the wall at back. Since this was the "English" Tea Room, do you think perhaps it was an English hunt scene?
I love that many of these old tea rooms apparently shared some of their most-requested recipes with customers. This Chocolate Silk Pie seems to have garnered quite a few fans. Try it, and you'll become one too!
Miller & Rhoads' Chocolate Silk Pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted according to package directions and cooled
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 pasteurized eggs (since this filling is uncooked, I thought it was important to use pasteurized eggs)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Chill a 9-inch pie plate in your refrigerator or freezer. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add just enough graham cracker crumbs to make a slightly crumbly mixture. Press evenly into pie plate and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the pie filling.
With electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar til light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, salt and vanilla. Add one egg and -- this is very important! -- beat for no less than 5 minutes. Add second egg and beat for no less than 5 minutes. Add third egg and beat for -- any guesses? -- no less than 5 minutes. (I hummed Michael Jackson's "Beat It" while I made the filling, but that step is entirely optional.) Pour filling into cooled pie shell and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Before serving, prepare whipped cream by adding confectioners' sugar to the heavy whipping cream and beating with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Pipe or spread onto top of pie and garnish with chocolate Jimmies. Takes a little time but oh so worth it!