Last week was a big one in Frenchtown – Bastille Day is as much a celebration there (and on St Thomas’s Northside) as it is in Paris or Martinique or any other place where the populace thinks of itself as French. The entire week in which Bastille Day occurs is, in St Thomas, proclaimed French Heritage Week with events and celebrations filling the calendar. One of the favourite things to do to celebrate is to go out for a great meal (you know how important good food is to the French!) at one of Frenchtown’s terrific restaurants. Guest Chef Georges Johnson of Cafe Normandie (arguably the best in Frenchtown) always puts together a special Bastille Day menu that pulls out all the stops but even then his most requested dessert (and requested recipe –Gourmet Magazine is among those to ask his secret) is his famous fudge pie. Chocoholics of the world – this one’s for you!
Chocolate Fudge Pie Cafe Normandie
For the Shell:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Ice water
For the Filling:
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
- 3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
To prepare the shell: In a large bowl blend the flour, the butter and the salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal. While tossing the mixture with a fork add 2-3 Tbsp ice water, or enough to form a soft but not sticky dough, and form the dough into a ball. Knead lightly with the heel of the hand for a few seconds to distribute the butter evenly and reform it into a ball. Dust the ball with flour and chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 1 hour. Roll the dough out 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, fit it into a 9 inch glass pie plate (1 1/4 in deep) and crimp the edge. Chill for 15 minutes.
To make the filling: In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt together the chocolate and the butter, stirring till smooth. Let mixture cool until just warm to the touch. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs until yellow, then, while beating, slowly add the sugar. Continue to beat for 10 minutes or until a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted. Beat in the vanilla. Then, with a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
Pour the filling into the prepared shell and bake the pie in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Let cool. Chill the pie for at least 1 hour or overnight.
You do not need a giant wedge of this to satisfy your chocolate tooth (but resisting is going to be tough). Serve it with a nice big dollop of fresh whipped cream (yes, the real stuff, preferably unsweetened. Cool Whip is cause for banishment from the ranks of true chocoholics!). Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.