Chocolate French Silk Pie
Rich and decadent chocolate french silk pie recipe. This pie filling requires no baking and is a rich silky chocolate filling with whipped cream topping and chocolate shavings.
Chocolate French Silk Pie Overview
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Components Used: Basic Pie Crust, Whipped Cream for Topping
Chocolate french silk pie is an incredibly rich chocolate pie with a chocolate mousse filling and a whipped cream topping. The filling is intensely chocolate in flavor and is very rich from the high ratio of butter and eggs in the mousse.
Traditional french silk pie is made with a classic pie crust which is what I prefer. I think the contrast of the salty crust is perfect with the rich filling. However, if you prefer, you can use a graham cracker crust or an oreo crust.
This pie is always a showstopper! I bring this along to most holiday gatherings and it is always the most popular dessert offered!
What is French Silk Pie Made Of? Why is it Called French Silk?
French silk pie is made from a rich chocolate filling that is, as its name suggests, incredibly silky. The filling is essentially a rich chocolate mousse made from butter, sugar, eggs, and chocolate. The filling is also kept raw which helps with its unique texture.
There is some debate about when this pie first originated. Some believe it came about in the 50’s as a winner of a Pillsbury bake-off, others think it first appeared in the 80’s created by a famous pastry chef. Wherever it started it is sure to be a hit with whoever it is shared with!
Is French Silk Pie Safe to Eat?
The concern around french silk pie being safe to eat stems from the fact that it is traditionally made with raw eggs in the filling. There are versions out there that call for cooking the filling, however I find the filling to be inferior to the classic version.
Because this recipe does use raw eggs it is important to use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about foodborne illness. Pasteurized eggs have been heated to a point where any bacteria present will be killed to eliminate the risk of foodborne illness, but the egg remains raw.
You can look for brands of eggs that are labeled as pasteurized in the grocery store. Or if you are unable to find them you can pasteurize eggs yourself using this tutorial.
How to Make French Silk Pie
I highly recommend to read the recipe all the way through before starting. Also make sure that you do not rush the filling process as it needs the full mixing time to really set up.
Step 1: Prepare the Crust
I prefer a traditional pie crust for this pie (recipe below). However, if you prefer, you can prep a graham cracker or an oreo crust. Oreo is my husbands favorite with this pie, but I think its a little too rich.
Step 2: Bake & Cool the Crust
Blind bake the crust and allow to cool completely before adding the filling. Because the filling is kept raw, the crust must be baked all the way through before the filling is added.
Step 3: Cream the Butter & Sugar for the Filling
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take a good 3-4 full minutes of mixing.
Step 4: Add the Chocolate
Add the melted and cooled chocolate into the mixing bowl along with the cocoa powder and espresso powder if using. The cocoa and espresso powder are optional but really help intensify the chocolate flavor.
Step 5: Add the Eggs one at a Time
Add the eggs into the mixer one at a time, mixing on high speed for 5 full minutes after each egg addition. This is extremely important for the filling to be able to set.
Do not rush the mixing and adding of the eggs. You will be mixing for a full 20 minutes at high speed- 5 minutes for each of 4 eggs. If you do not have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer for this step, but it will be quite the arm workout!
Step 6: Allow the Filling to Set & Top
Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and let it set for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. Then you can top it with real whipped cream and chocolate shavings!
Does French Silk Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?
French silk pie definitely needs to be kept in the refrigerator due to the raw eggs in the filling. The filling will also start melting if it becomes too warm.
How Long Can You Keep French Silk Pie?
You can keep french silk pie refrigerated and loosely covered for 3-4 days. It is best eaten the day after it is made for the best texture with the crust.
Watch the Video Tutorial!
Chocolate French Silk Pie
This pie filling requires no baking and is a rich silky chocolate filling with whipped cream topping and chocolate shavings.
For the Crust
- 1 1/4 cups (150 gr) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup (75 gr) shortening or cold butter cut into small pieces
- 2-4 TBSP (30 ml-60 ml) ice water
For the Filling
- 1 cup (220 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (294 gr) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (112 gr) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (I used ghiradelli 100% chocolate)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBSP (13 gr) cocoa powder (optional, but intensifies the chocolate flavor and color)
- 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder (optional, but intensifies the chocolate flavor)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature (*use pasteurized eggs to eliminate risk of foodborne illness)
For the Topping
- 1 cup (237 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (40 gr) powdered sugar
- chocolate shavings, optional
NOTE: There have been several reviews that this pie has ended up with a grainy texture. After extensive testing these things will prevent this: Make sure you are using a paddle attachment (not the whisk attachment) for your mixer. Mix each egg for a full 5 minutes. Do not rush this part! Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl between each egg addition to insure that all of the sugar is getting mixed fully and is not sticking to the sides or bottom.
For the Crust
- Preheat oven to 400º F (200 C).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the shortening or butter to the bowl and cut it in with a pastry cutter until the consistency of coarse meal.
- Add ice water 1 TBSP at a time while stirring gently until the dough starts to form into a ball.
- Gently pat the pie dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Gently roll out the crust out on a lightly floured surface until it is about a 12 inch circle. Place the dough in the pie plate and pull up on the edges to let it fall into the plate naturally. Do not stretch it to fit. Crimp edges as desired (watch the video to see how I shape it). Dock the dough by piercing with a fork several times around the bottom and sides.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper into the crust and fill with it dried beans, rice, or pie weights.
- Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
For the Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (make sure not to use a whisk attachment), beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy- about 3-4 minutes.
- With the mixer still running, pour the cooled melted chocolate into the butter/sugar mixture. Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso powder if using. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating for 5 full minutes in between each addition (20 minutes total) at a medium/high speed (setting 8 on stand mixer). Scrape down the bowl making sure to get the sides and the bottom of the bowl between each egg addition. This is important to make sure all of the sugar is getting fully mixed and your pie will be truly silky. The full mixing time of 20 minutes, 5 minutes for EACH egg, is necessary to get the silky texture and for the pie to set.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before serving.
- Pour the heavy cream and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Whip on high speed and slowly stream in the powdered sugar until the whipped cream reaches stiff peaks.
- Top the pie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or curls.
- Filling recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's French Silk Pie Recipe
- Disclaimer: Consuming raw or under-cooked eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have a medical condition. Use pasteurized eggs to reduce risk.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 635
171 Comments on “Chocolate French Silk Pie”
How can this be safe with raw eggs?
Raw, pasteurized eggs are safe to eat. It is important to use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about foodborne illness. Pasteurized eggs have been heated to a point where any bacteria present will be killed to eliminate the risk of foodborne illness.
I know for a fact that the French Silk Pie existed before the 1980s. When I was in high school in the mid-70s, my friends and I used to go to a restaurant called “Poppin’ Fresh Pies” (yes, like the Pillsbury DoughBoy) and I would ALWAYS get the French Silk Pie for dessert. It was heavenly! Apparently, sometime in the 80s the chain was purchased by a holding company and the name changed. There are now just a few of the renamed restaurant still in the Midwest. I also remember finding a recipe for French Silk Pie in a cookbook at a friends’ house in the early 80s. So the story of a “famous pastry chef” inventing it in the 1980s simply cannot be true. Looking forward to trying your recipe!
Thanks for sharing! What a neat story!
Though its name suggests European origins, French silk pie began in America. In fact, this simplified version of the classic recipe was a finalist in the 1951
From pillsbury pages
Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest, created by home baker Betty Cooper from Kensington, Maryland. Many French silk pie recipes call for raw eggs to make the mousse-like, silky chocolate filling, but this recipe calls for pasteurized eggs instead, eliminating any food safety worries or concerns. French silk pies like this one are often known for their pretty presentation—whipped cream and chocolate curls add the perfect finishing touch. You can also dress up the pie crust to make it extra special! Find everything you need to know about making the perfect pie crust in this easy how-to article and then head over to our chocolate pies collection to choose your next baking adventure!
Thanks for sharing!
I have a variation of this from a cookbook put out by a local supermarket. Not to take away from this which would be just as delicious!
1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. With an electric mixer, cream sugar, butter and vanilla. Blend well. Add 3 1-oz pkgs unsweetened chocolate (Bakers 100% unsweetened ), melted and cooled. Add chocolate.
Add 3 extra large eggs (xl gives more volume), beat one at a time for 5 minutes each. Scrape bowl often. Mixture will appear like mousse. (In the summer when weather is warmer in your house mixture will seem runny. Will firm up after refrigerating.) Beat 1/2 pint whipping cream with 1 tsp sugar until peaks (do not use ready-whip in the can. It will run) Add to pie after putting in chocolate crust. (Keebler makes an Oreo premade crust) Grate or shred 1/4 Hershey bar and sprinkle on top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. For another variation, put in parfait dishes in between whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate.
This is such a nice balance of sweet. I did not use the espresso just coco. Thanks for the tips on mixing, I can be inpatient @ times, but found it took the last egg to get perfect smoothness. I used a timer and then just cleaned up as it mixed:). I used this recipe when making one of the pies for a pie auction and it was a huge success!
I’m so glad you liked it! This recipe is ALL about patience.
My family’s favorite pie for the holidays, we like the graham cracker crust and unsweetened whipped cream. We have been making this at least since the mid-1970s, so it must have originated before then!
Can this be frozen and thawed? If so, what are the directions for thawing?
Me just here checking the comments to see at how many eggs until the right consistency because after 2 its still a little grainy! Glad to see it takes all four so I still have 10 minutes to panic haha! Thanks for the recipe! Excited to taste it tomorrow 🙂
Pie was grainy. I really wonder if it is the type of sugar some of are using.
I used Domino.
It set up beautifully but grainy.
Would like to try again with maybe a different sugar brand.
Did you set a timer in between each time you added an egg. That really is the key, you can’t rush it. You have to spend a lot of time mixing to ensure it isn’t grainy.
Made this for our Christmas dinner today and it was a huge hit! The pie was indeed “silky” and so smooth. This is going to be a favorite of ours for years to come.
Wonderful! I’m so glad everyone liked it! It’s one of my favorite recipes.
Well, it happened to me too! I made this pie for a special occasion — with guests — and thought if I followed the instructions exactly I would have no problems. I pasteurized eggs, got out my stand mixer and timer and measured all ingredients before I began. I beat the room temperature butter and sugar together for four minutes, scraped sides and bottom of bowl and cleaned off my scraper. I added eggs one at a time as directed and mixed for five minutes after each, scraping sides and bottom of bowl before I added the next egg. That was a total of 20 minutes for beating the eggs. And I finished with filling that is grainy. I went ahead and poured it into my pre-baked pie crust but I’m so disappointed. What could I have done to prevent this?
I know that it is not recommended to substitute powdered sugar for granulated sugar when mixing with butter or shortening for cookies but would that work for this recipe, adjusting amount to account for “fluff” in powdered sugar, i.e., 2 cups sifted powdered for each 1 cup granulated.
What do you think?
BTW, when I was in college in the sixties, our food service manager, Mr. Kitchen 😉 made French Silk Pie every Saturday night. It was heavenly and I was trying to re-create that.
What a wonderful memory!
So just in case anyone makes the same mistake, I misread the recipe for one stick of butter not one cup and this amazingly didn’t ruin the pie!! I was so worried and bummed out that I bought a store bought “back up” just in case but everyone said the homemade was superior to the store bought. It’s an amazing French Silk pie recipe!!! ♥️
So glad it worked out!
I LOVE this recipe! It always turns out smooth, rich and decadent and is a family favorite! Never fails to impress!