I started this blog back in May of 2009. Since then, I’ve written almost 700 posts. And a book.

Since I have learned so much and changed so much in the past 5 years, it’s only natural that the look and feel of my blog evolves, as well. So I hired my talented friend Sabrina to give HGK a little makeover as a “blogiversary” gift to myself. I wanted the design to be very simple, natural, and a little messy, even (kind of like me!). I hope you like it as much as I do :)

(Please if you notice any problems with the new design, let me know! That way, we can fix whatever is wrong.)

And what’s a celebration without a decadent treat? I made a Chocolate Silk Pie to mark this blogging milestone.

My parents used to serve a similar French Silk Pie in their restaurant when I was a kid…I have such fond memories of that pie and have been wanting to make one like it for a long time. This pie is so easy to prepare and it’s absolutely delicious: I think it perfectly symbolizes where my blog and I are at these days and what you can expect to see here in the future.

Though I sometimes feel like the odd one out for having a healthy recipe blog that does not fit neatly into a specialty dietary category such as “clean foods”, “gluten-free”, “vegetarian”, “vegan”, or “paleo”, I am really more than ok with that. I’ve always been inclined to just do my own thing, and I don’t much like labels anyway. I truly believe all foods can have a place in a healthy diet…even chocolate pie. I have always championed simple home cooked recipes and balanced living here and I will continue to do so.

Recipe notes:

-I made this pie twice: once with a coconut walnut crust and once with the peanut crust you see here. Both were press-in, grain-free crusts but I preferred the peanut one (you can’t go wrong when you combine peanuts and chocolate, you know?) so that’s the recipe I am sharing with the pie. If you can’t eat peanuts (or don’t like peanuts), feel free to substitute your favorite homemade or store-bought crust.

-There are raw eggs in this recipe. If that scares you, don’t make this pie, or make it with pasteurized eggs. I have my own chickens so I am not nervous about using raw eggs: I have been eating them for years. All the same, do use caution if you are pregnant or fall into another group that’s been advised not to consume raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella.

-I took my friend Amanda’s advice and chilled the pie filling for a few hours before spreading it into the cooked pie crust. This worked very well!

Recipe for Chocolate Silk Pie

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

For the pie filling:

*1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature (I used organic)
*1 cup sugar (I used organic)
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*2 teaspoons bourbon or brandy (optional: I used bourbon)
*4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted in a double boiler or the microwave (I used Ghirardelli brand)
*4 whole eggs, preferably free range and organic (I used eggs from my backyard chickens; if using extra-large eggs, use 3 instead of 4)

For the crust:

*1 1/5 cups peanuts (use organic if you can...I used regular peanuts because that's what I had on hand)
*3 tablespoons sugar (I used organic)
*1 1/2 tablespoons egg whites (I cracked and separated 2 eggs and measure 1 1/2 tablespoons from the whites)

Directions:

For the pie filling (make this first, then place in refrigerator to chill):

1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy (it's important to beat these well, so the pie filling won't be grainy). Add the vanilla extract and the bourbon, if using. Add the melted chocolate and beat again until all ingredients are well combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing very well after each addition.
2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the filling for a few hours or overnight.

Make and fill the crust:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Spread peanuts onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes until they are fragrant are starting to brown.
3. Allow peanuts to cool completely, then in a food processor, process the peanuts with the sugar until the mixture is very finely textured (it should also smell amazing).
4. Add the egg white and pulse until the mixture just comes together, then press it into a lightly buttered pie plate.
5. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until it is dry and lightly browned, then allow it to cool completely before filling it with the chocolate mixture.
6. Cover and refrigerate the pie for several more hours to allow it to set, then serve as is, or with whipped cream (you may find the pie easier to slice if you freeze for a bit before serving).

Pie filling adapted from Molly O'Neill's recipe for The New York Times. Pie crust recipe adapted from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book.