One pie recipe that is always received with smiles and greed is Arboretum French Silk Pie. I use the recipe that appears in Eleanor Ostman's "Always on Sunday," and whenever I serve it at a gathering there are never leftovers.
Arboretum French Silk Pie
Makes 8 or more servings (a small slice suffices)Crust:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (30 cookies, crushed)
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large pasteurized eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
To make crust: Mix melted butter, vanilla wafer crumbs and pecans. Reserve 1/4 cup. Press remaining mixture into 9-inch pie pan. Place reserved crumbs in another small pan. Bake both pans in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't scorch.
To make filling: Melt chocolate. Cool. Cream butter and sugar. Add cooled chocolate. Add eggs to filling, 1 at a time. After each egg is added, beat for 5 minutes with mixer on medium speed. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie shell. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs (a ring of crumbs about 2 inches from edge looks attractive). Freeze pie until ready to serve.
Recipe note: I processed the butter, wafers, and pecans before pressing them into the pie pan and the result was an even crust with hints of nut. Also, I used a "pre-melted" chocolate and appreciated skipping the melt and cool step.