French Silk Pie

This creamy and indulgent French silk pie combines my best flaky pie crust, smooth-as-silk chocolate filling, and fresh whipped cream on top. This recipe uses cooked eggs, so you don’t have to worry about consuming raw eggs.

French silk pie

After many requests, I’m unveiling a favorite French silk pie recipe. I’ve tried a lot of French silk pies and have made several in my own kitchen, but this is definitely my best one yet and I’m thrilled for you to finally try it!

Why This is my Best French Silk Pie

  • uses my tried-and-true flaky pie crust
  • light as mousse, but much smoother
  • unlike other recipes, there’s no raw eggs
  • filling sets up perfectly
  • garnished with my favorite fresh whipped cream

No Raw Eggs

This characteristic is definitely worth highlighting. Most French silk pie recipes call for raw eggs, but I gently cook them first. This requires an extra step on the stove, but it cancels out any worries of serving raw eggs. Even with this step, we still have the same smooth-as-silk texture– nothing is compromised! So if you’re looking for a classic French silk pie recipe without raw eggs, this is it.

french silk pie


French Silk Pie Video Tutorial


How to Fully Blind Bake Pie Crust

Like my coconut cream pie, this French silk pie filling isn’t baked, so it requires a fully baked pie crust. “Blind baking” means that we bake a pie crust without a filling inside. Do you know how to blind bake pie crust? Let’s review:

  1. Make pie dough ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to make the pie. Pie crust must chill for at least 2 hours before rolling out. You can use my favorite pie crust or my all butter pie crust recipe. I prefer the shortening/butter blend in my pie crust because the shortening promises that prized flaky texture. If needed, you can use a graham cracker crust or even an Oreo cookie crust instead. See recipe note.
  2. Roll the dough out, then fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Crimp or flute the edges. Want to know my trick for beautiful pie crust edges? Don’t trim the excess pie dough. See step 2 in the recipe below.
  3. To prevent shrinking, chill the shaped pie crust for at least 30 minutes. Remember that pie dough must be cold when it hits the oven. You can do this before or after you fill with pie weights (next step).
  4. Fill with pie weights. As the pie dough bakes, its fat will melt. The melting fat causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of the pie dish. To prevent the pie dough from completely losing its shape, weigh it down with pie weights. Carefully line the pie dough with parchment paper first, then pour in pie weights or even dry beans. (Note: 2 packs of these pie weights* is needed.) *affiliate link!
  5. Bake until the edges are relatively set, about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove pie weights, dock the crust with a fork as shown in the video tutorial above, then return to the oven until the crust is golden brown. See photo on the right below.
  7. Cool completely before adding the filling.

Some recipes, like my pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie, require a partially blind baked pie crust— this means that the filling is baked, but the crust requires a pre-bake.

blind bake pie crust

4 Parts to Chocolate Pie Filling

Let’s make the chocolate filling as the blind baked pie crust cools. There’s a few different things going on here. You need 4 separate bowls for different components.

  1. Heavy Cream: Whip heavy cream into stiff peaks.
  2. Melted Chocolate: Use two 4-ounce bars of pure chocolate in this recipe. Do not use chocolate chips, which don’t melt into the proper consistency. I prefer and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use unsweetened chocolate for a darker flavor.
  3. Eggs + Sugar: I like to whip the cream and melt the chocolate first, so both are ready as I need them. For the eggs, whisk them with sugar and gently cook them on the stovetop. Use a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, as shown in the video tutorial above. While constantly whisking, cook until they reach 160°F (71°C), a temperature that kills all possible bacteria. You need an instant read thermometer for this step. Let this cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the melted chocolate.
  4. Creamed Butter + Sugar: Finally, cream room temperature butter and sugar together. While this is the last part listed, it’s actually the base of the entire filling. Add the chocolate/egg mixture, then fold in the unsweetened whipped cream.

eggs and chocolate for French silk pie filling

Above left: cooked eggs + sugar. Above right: combined melted chocolate and eggs.

Below left: creamed butter + sugar. Below right: creamed butter + sugar with the chocolate/eggs.

butter and chocolate for french silk pie filling

Finally, fold in the unsweetened whipped cream and spread into the cooled pie crust. Place the pie in the refrigerator and chill until the filling sets, about 4-6 hours.

This is an excellent pie to make the day ahead of time!

French silk pie filling

French silk pie filling in pie crust

While I have a chocolate mousse pie recipe in my archives, I wanted to share a classic French silk pie. What’s the difference? The mousse pie sits in a delicious Oreo cookie crust and has a sky-high, super thick, airy mousse filling. This French silk pie, however, is served in a traditional pie crust and has a much richer, smoother filling. (Truthfully though… you can’t go wrong with either chocolate pie!)

Use Heavy Cream Again for Whipped Cream Topping

You need heavy cream for the filling AND the whipped cream garnish on top. Pick up a pint of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream and use 1 cup for the filling and 1 cup for the whipped cream on top. (We’re using my favorite vanilla whipped cream!) Finish it off with chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, or even toasted coconut.

french silk pie

french silk pie

Success Tips

  1. Review the recipe, notes, and video: Since there’s a few different steps, my #1 success tip is to review the written instructions and recipe notes as well as watch the video tutorial above before you begin. Take your time with each step and you’ll be rewarded with chocolate pie perfection.
  2. Maintain a smooth filling: Make sure the egg mixture cools down before stirring in the chocolate. Then, make sure the chocolate/egg mixture cools down before mixing into the creamed butter + sugar. If these ingredients are still warm, the filling could curdle.
  3. No substitutions: To ensure the filling sets up properly and maintains the silky texture, I do not recommend any ingredient substitutions.

Plenty More Pies

*This recipe is part of my annual pie week. Find more pie inspiration there!

Print
French silk pie

French Silk Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours (includes dough)
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours (includes chilling)
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This French silk pie features my perfectly flaky pie crust, a smooth chocolate filling, and whipped cream on top. Read through the recipe and notes before beginning and use the video tutorial above as your guide.


Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped*
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoonconfectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional for garnish: chocolate curls*

Instructions

  1. Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making this pie. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
  2. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (use the 2nd pie crust for another recipe!). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. You can see me do this in the video tutorial above. Carefully line the inside of the pie with two pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil, as shown in the photos and video above, then pour in the pie weights. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking. (You can actually fill with pie weights before or after chilling, it doesn’t make a difference.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Blind-bake the crust: Bake the cold pie crust (with weights!) for 15 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper/aluminum foil (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick all over the bottom of the pie crust with a fork, which is called “docking” the pie crust and helps prevent air bubbles. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash. Return the crust to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 more minutes.
  5. Cool pie crust completely. You can do this up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  6. Start the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Stiff peaks hold their peak shape and do not droop. Set whipped cream in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) until step 8. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate. You can melt it in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stopping and stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Set aside until the end of the next step.
  7. Cook the eggs: Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup (100g) sugar together in a heat-proof bowl or the top piece of a double boiler. Place over a pot of simmering water (or the bottom part of your double boiler). Do not let the surface of simmering water touch the bottom of the heat-proof bowl. Whisking constantly, cook the egg mixture until it reaches 160°F (71°C) on an instant read thermometer, about 10-11 minutes. Do not stop whisking or the eggs may solidify. If the steam gets too hot over your hand, use an oven mitt. Carefully remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. After cooling, slowly stir in the melted chocolate. To prevent curdling, cool for another 10 minutes before using in the next step.
  8. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar together on medium-high speed until creamy and combined, at least 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the chocolate/egg mixture, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until combined.
  9. Spread filling into cooled pie crust. (A small offset spatula is helpful for this.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened. Pie may be refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.
  10. For the whipped cream topping: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts. Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top. Garnish with chocolate curls (see notes), if desired. Serve immediately or chill the pie uncovered up to a few hours.
  11. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe ahead of time. See end of steps 5 and 9. You can also freeze the pie after step 9. Cover with an extra layer of plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator prior to topping with whipped cream and serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Glass Pie Dish or Ceramic Pie Dish, Parchment Paper, Pie Weights, Pastry Brush, Instant Read Thermometer
  3. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use. If using store-bought pie dough, you still need to blind-bake it. If needed, you can use a graham cracker crust or Oreo cookie crust instead of traditional pie crust. Pre-bake the cookie crust at 350°F (177°C) for 15 minutes. No need for pie weights if using a cookie crust.
  4. Chocolate: Filling will only set if the correct chocolate is used. I recommend using pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. I use and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate for a darker flavor.
  5. Sugar in whipped cream: Some bakers swear by granulated sugar in whipped cream; others swear by confectioners’ sugar. If you’re only working with a couple Tablespoons of sugar as listed in the recipe above, it doesn’t really make a difference. Use whichever.
  6. Garnish: You can leave the whipped cream on top plain or sprinkle with chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, or even toasted coconut.

Keywords: chocolate pie, chocolate

34 Comments

  1. I legit feel my waist line expanding every day since you posted the Praline pie on Friday… and I haven’t actually tried any of these yet. And I’m going to stop telling you this looks like your best one yet, because I can’t wait to see what you bust out tomorrow! How do you get your shavings to look so pretty? Every time I try to do it I either cut myself or end up with totally shredded chocolate- would love tips for perfect curls!

    1. Haha – that’s the downside to pie week 🙂 For the chocolate shavings you can use a sharp vegetable peeler on the side of a chocolate bar or follow the link to the exact tutorial I used for chocolate curls!

  2. Oh Sally, be still my beating heart, CHOCOLATE!!!!! I’m having a Chanukah party, (aka: SBA recipe taste testing…..the banana cake, cheese cracker dough, vegetable tart are in the freezer already), this pie will definitely be on the menu! Yesterday I made the pretzel rolls for my boys to pack sandwiches for lunch; needless to say they were a huge hit. Thanks from the President of your Boston Fan Club!

  3. Wow, that is going to be absolutely, positively, fun to make I love chocolate and I love whipped cream. ❤️❤️
    Thank you so much SALLY you have made my life so fun in baking.

  4. I’m not sure if you’re aware of how frequent the comercials are interrupting your video for the silk pie.
    It was hard to focus.

    1. Hi Linda! Are you referring to the videos on Facebook? Our recipe videos on the website don’t have interrupting ads– usually just one at the beginning that you can skip. (Click Skip Ad) Regardless, sorry for the frustration!

  5. This pie looks AMAZING, Sally! I love chocolate pie, and I have never tried French Silk Pie before, so I can’t wait to try this one out! 🙂

  6. I have not made this yet but it looks delicious. Do you think I can use a crumb and nut press in crust? Half my Thanksgiving guests claim they have to be gluten free for various reasons, and they will not eat the crust anyway.

  7. Hi Sally! I made this tonight and it is still setting, but so far, the filling is delicious! I am wondering, however, about the amount of filling. I filled my crust to the heaping top (and beyond), and still ended up with well over two cups extra filling. I ended up just putting the extras into bowls to chill and eat on their own, but I’m trying to figure out if I did something wrong somewhere along the line.

    Any thoughts? I am pretty sure my pie pan was 9″ (though I measured the top, should I have measured the bottom?) Is this normal to have so much extra? Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie! I’m so so glad you loved this French Silk Pie! Yes, measure the bottom of the pie dish. A 9×2 inch pie dish (or my 9×1.8 inch pie dish linked in the notes) is always large enough without having extra filling.

  8. Hi,
    I want to attempt making pie crust again. I gave up several years ago. Do you know if I can use marbles as pie weights?
    Thanks!

  9. Hi Sally!

    I made this yesterday for dessert. Though the pie WAS tasty, it was a bit rich for me…I couldn’t finish my sliver! I’ll for sure make it again and use something a little less sweet than semi sweet to cut the sweetness down. I had never had French Silk…let alone made one, so it was a fun new experience! Thank you for another lovely Pie Week! Next up…Cookie Palooza! 😀

  10. I made this today and I tried the filling before putting it into the crust. It’s delicious but it’s gritty!! I mixed butter and sugar longer than the allotted time to make sure that didn’t happen. Could I cook all of the sugar with the eggs to ensure a grit free filling??

  11. I had dough for a single pie crust in my freezer that I decided to use so I can make and freeze pie crust dough for the holidays (starting with your cheddar cheese pie dough). It was also my birthday the next day and I was having some family over so I decided to make your French Silk Pie. I gotta say, this pie is THE BOMB! It is so delicious… not too sweet, not a mousse or chiffon pie, more substantial but one of those pies where you want to scrape up every streak of chocolate on the plate. I also love that the eggs are cooked. Well done Sally.

  12. Hi Sally! Making this as I type and I can’t wait to taste. One note though: I see salt listed in the filling ingredients, but can’t find where/when to add it either in the written directions or your video tutorial. I’m guessing during the butter creaming stage?? Thanks for clarifying!

  13. I want to make this pie this weekend, but reading through the recipe I am worried it will have a grainy texture since you mix in a half a cup of granulated sugar with the butter at the end. Does that sugar dissolve somehow? Or does it leave a slightly grainy texture?

    1. Hi Chery, the sugar and butter cream together. After adding the remaining ingredients and the fluffy whipped cream, there’s no sugar granule to detect. Never had that issue!

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