It’s March 14 and I have one thing to say – I remembered!  I remembered Pi Day!  Every year I completely forget about Pi Day until suddenly, I open up my feed reader and see pies, pies everywhere because everyone else remembered.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that the reason I remembered this year is because last year on March 14 after seeing everyone else’s lovely pies, I marked it on my calendar for this year.  Yep, I’m weird like that.

For those who still have no idea what I’m talking about, pi (Π) is a Greek letter that stands for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  It starts with 3.14 (hence the connection to March 14) and then continues infinitely without repeating.  For me, pi always reminds me of my high school calculus teacher and one of the most wonderful teachers in the whole world, Mr. Strawn.  He has a passion for math and an incredible gift for teaching that made me actually understand calculus!  (I am ashamed to think how much of it I have since forgotten but hey – all that material from med school had to go somewhere!)  I know he is also a fan of the blog so Mr. Strawn, if you’re reading this, this pi is for you!  ;)

Now, let’s talk for a moment about this chocolate silk pie.  Chocolate pie has been a matter of much debate in our household since Ben and I were first married.  You see, I had an old cookbook that had a version of chocolate pie I would make occasionally.  It had a classic pie crust (as opposed to graham cracker or cookie crust) and the filling of that version was baked.  Ben loved it.  I thought it was just okay, and I didn’t hold on to recipe or the cookbook.  I’ve since been searching for a chocolate pie that would satisfy both of us.  Who knows how many I’ve tried?  Some have pudding filling, some had raw eggs, and none have been “the one”.  When my latest issue of Entertaining arrived in the mail, I saw this pie on the cover and it looked very promising.  It’s official – this pie gets the win.  The filling has a custard base that makes it soft and silky.  It is more rich and dense than a pudding filling, but still incredibly light in texture from all the whipping.  Another plus is that it uses staple ingredients so you could whip one up if you needed a dessert and didn’t feel like running to the store (as long as you have 3 hours to let it chill).  Happy Pi Day!

  • Yield 8-10 servings


Dough for 1 9-inch pie crust

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp. water
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

Freshly whipped cream, for serving


  • 01

    Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch circle.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough.  Trim, fold and crimp the edges.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F and adjust an oven rack to low-middle position.  Line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper so that it lays over the edges of the dough.  Fill with pie weights and bake until the surface of the dough no longer looks wet, 20-25 minutes.  Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and return the pie crust to the oven.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10-12 minutes more.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

  • 03

    To make the filling, add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate.

  • 04

    Combine the eggs, sugar and water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl).  With a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until the egg mixture is thickened and reads 160˚ F on an instant read thermometer, about 7-10 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat until the egg mixture is fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 6-8 minutes.

  • 05

    Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla to the cooled egg mixture and beat until well blended.  Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined.  Using a spatula, gently fold in the chilled whipped cream until no streaks remain.  Transfer the filling to the baked pie shell.  Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.  Slice and serve with freshly whipped cream as desired.