GTPulse: Grand Traverse Pie Celebrates 25 Years With Local Favorite
French silk pie always appealed to me, even before I knew what it was. As a kid whenever I would hear the name I thought it sounded like the fanciest, most regal pie in the world. Upon tasting it for the first time I wasn’t disappointed. Chocolatey mousse-like silk topped with whipped cream in a pie shell makes up the cold and delicious French silk pie and isn’t actually French at all. American housewife Betty Cooper entered this pie creation into a Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1951 where it placed as a runner-up. The pie may have come second place in the judges’ eyes but continues to win first place in the hearts of chocolate and pie lovers everywhere today. Up until last week I was unaware that any other types of silk pie exist. It turns out that there does, and one of them is a Traverse City favorite from none other than the Grand Traverse Pie Company.
“The first time we had it was in 2019 and it did really well,” said Lucy Adams, director of brand standards.
The pie was released as a limited, springtime treat that would be available through March and April. The light, tart flavors were a welcome addition to their pie menu that boasts over 50 different flavors of pie.
The pie wasn’t released last Spring 2020 but has made it back to Grand Traverse Pie Co. shelves and will be available through this month and next. My Facebook feed has been filled with enthusiastic cheer from local friends who missed it last year.
“We got so much feedback from people who liked it, and so many requests. In spring we start to bring back certain seasonal pies like we’ll start making lemon meringue again. We try to do something fresh and new and if we get a lot of feedback then we try to slate it into the year. We thought this was good year to bring it back, and we’re doing really good sales on the lemon blueberry already.”
The ‘silk’ that makes a silk pie has a lot of variation.
“People use the term chocolate silk kind of across the board to describe a chocolate cream pie, or chocolate silk pie. It’s kind of a universal term, here we call it a chocolate cream. It’s a custard base.”
The chocolate silk in French Silk Pie is typically made with a combination of heavy cream, eggs, sugar and butter. The Lemon silk used in this springtime favorite uses a recipe that utilizes cream cheese for a light, airy texture and tangy flavor.
“We use a lightly whipped cream cheese with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest on top.”
The cool, fluffy filling sits on top of blueberry pie filling, surrounded by a freshly made crust. Like a dollop of sunshine in blue skies, this one is a favorite meant to be full of the joys of spring.
Enjoy a single slice, a 6-inch pie or a 9-inch, but grab it fast and call ahead beforehand if you’re making a special trip. They’ll be gone before you know it.
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