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.

slice of French silk pie on a white plate

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 with whipped cream and chocolate shavings


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.

2 images of blind baked pie crust with pie weights and without pie weights

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.

2 images of 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.

2 images of 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 in a glass bowl

spreading 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

slice of French silk pie on a pie server

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!

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slice of French silk pie on a pie server

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) on medium heat. 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

135 Comments

  1. This pie is absolutely amazing, just like the rest of Sally’s dessert recipes. I am not typically a French silk pie fan but figured if it was Sally’s recipe, it had to be good! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. I think rushing the process may have messed up the results for a few of the commenters. I used the all butter crust and made the pie over 2 days to spread out the refrigeration times.

    You should definitely make this!! This cake is very rich but somehow not overly sweet. Perfectyl balanced. Love it!

  2. I made this and I only changed the crust to a biscuit crust. Rest as it is and as usual it was outstanding!

  3. Excellent perfect. Better than expected. Everyone loved it.

  4. Haven’t tasted this yet. (It is setting up in the frig as I type.) But my kids licked the beaters and the sugar must not have dissolved completely. My son said it was grainy. I did use the organic sugar which has larger crystals so you may want to run that through a processor or grinder prior to mixing into the filling should you choose to use that type. Looks great though. I did decrease the sugar in the filling by 1/4 C and they liked the taste, just not so much the texture but they said they’d still eat it! =) That’s good because I did double the recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, Sally!

  5. GoodDay Sally!
    I have written this before but it seems to have not gone through.
    I would like to know if i could use the 10-15 minute estimation to make sure that the eggs are cooked as i do not have the instant read thermometer.
    I’m searching for it but i just wanted to inquire if I could do without it.

    P.s the coconut cream pie was lovely!
    Cant wait to try this one!

    Best regards,
    Ariffa.

    1. Hi Ariffa! I recommend cooking and whisking for 10-11 minutes.

    2. 10 minutes is about right. It turn fluffy looking and a mello yellow color ..frothy on top

  6. Delicious pie! I’ve been looking for a chocolate pie recipe that both uses cooked eggs and doesn’t delve into pudding territory.
    As some others commented, the filling I sampled while waiting for the pie to cool tasted gritty and I wished I had put all the sugar into the eggs, BUT, the final chilled pie didn’t gave a gritty texture at all. Silky smooth.
    I used semi-sweet Nestle chips, 60% Ghirardelli chips, and part of a random chocolate dark chocolate bar (55%). Everything melted okay for me, but overall the pie was a little too sweet and I wish I’d used a darker chocolate (not going to stop me from eating it all though).

  7. Wow. Crowd pleaser. Just super bummed as everyone ate it all and I had no take home pie.

  8. Could you recommend a chocolate brand you like for this? So many choices! And also- We don’t use shortening. Could lard be used in the same proportions?

    We always have a blazos French silk at the holidays. I can’t eat them any longer because of the crazy additives. This will be the most cherished dish at the table this year thanks for the recipe!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hollie! Yes, you can use the same amount of lard for the crust. For the chocolate we like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands but any high quality pure chocolate bars will work (see recipe notes for details). We hope you enjoy this pie!

  9. Wow! These were great directions. At first I thought it would be way too complicated but it was fine. I’m an inexperienced baker and this turned out perfect. So much better than store bought. Glad I gave it a try!

  10. Hi Sally! This recipe is DELICIOUS. I did a test run for Thanksgiving, but every time I cut a piece, the chocolate completely detached, in one chunk, from the crust. Any suggestions on how to prevent this? Thanks so much!

  11. Do you think this pie filling would work well in a graham cracker crust?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, Yes this should work in a graham cracker crust.

  12. Can I triple the recipe and have it still set up correctly?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Danielle, For the best results we recommend making one pie at a time.

  13. So so good. Definitely a large amount of time but so worth it. I also made the flaky pie crust and this was by far the best crust I have ever made.

  14. I just made this over the weekend after my husband said, “French Silk Pie sounds really good right now”. It sounded like a good idea to me, too. I had attempted to make French Silk Pie a decade ago using a regular, raw egg recipe. It never set up and was French Silk Soup. Clearly, I did something wrong or the recipe was off. I love that this recipe gently cooks the eggs and directions were very clear. The pics showed a thick, well set filling. Yum!
    The whole family pitched in with making it and even with a few minor substitutions, that didn’t materially change the recipe, it came out perfect! My husband could only find extra dark chocolate bars at the store, so the pie was a little more rich and we used coconut sugar instead of white sugar. We subbed stevia in the whipped cream and added a little arrowroot powder to the whipped cream to help it not get weepy. All minor subs and none affected the delicious outcome! I would highly recommend this recipe!

  15. Jennifer in Colorado says:

    Just made it for Thanksgiving tomorrow & boy, this is the real deal…excellent taste, thanks so much for this recipe.

  16. Turned out great! I was a little concerned with the grittiness in the chocolate filling right after mixing it but after setting up over night in the fridge, all of the sugar has absorbed. Filling is delicious and…silky. Haha!

    1. How funny, I had the same concern, but the same AMAZING result! Thank you Sally!

  17. Made this as my first ever French Silk Pie. My kitchen was a mess but my family enjoyed helping with meting chocolate and whipping the heavy cream. We all high-fived afterwards because it tasted so good. A fantastic Thanksgiving memory!!!

  18. I made this pie for the first time yesterday for our Thanksgiving Day meal today. It turned out really well! I did cheat and use a store bought crust because I was on a time crunch. I will make the crust myself next time. This pie is definitely worth all the steps! I’m glad to find a recipe that had cooked eggs as some of my family refuses to eat anything with raw eggs. Thank you, Sally for another winner!

  19. Amazing pie! This recipe is such a hit. I accidentally forgot a whole half cup of butter in the filling and it still tasted amazing… intrigued to know how it would be different with the extra butter as I felt it was just perfect!

  20. Alexis Greiner says:

    Made this pie for Thanksgiving. Pulled together the crust (butter) dough two days ahead, and did everything else except the whipped cream topping one day ahead. There are multiple steps that take some time, but it is not complicated. Sally’s recipe and video provide detailed instructions and make it easy to have fantastic, super impressive results. One note is that my eggs cooked more quickly than 10 minutes (I used an instant read thermometer).

  21. Made this for thanksgiving this year. Perfect recipe. Everyone loved it and will definitely be asking for it for many holidays to come!

  22. This pie was amazing! I made it with a home made Oreo crust in a 9.5 pie dish. Everyone chose this pie over the others at Thanksgiving! One note I saw from another reviewer was that the pie was a bit grainy in texture. When I completed making the pie filling and put it in the crust I did taste some of that grainy texture-BUT I let it sit in the fridge overnight and once we ate it it was smooth as silk! I think the sugar dissolves in the rest of the filling once you let it set overnight. It was silky and delicious…thank you, Sally!

  23. SallEEEEE!! This pie exceeded my expectations!!!! In fact, my stepdad (the French Silk connoisseur who loves Bakers Square pies) said he would choose your recipe over Bakers Square!! Now, the pie does require several steps so I only made one for Thanksgiving, but that explains why it was gone in less than 24 hrs…! *For those who are worried about the filling having crunchy sugar crystals: yes, right after mixing the filling, the sugar is detectable/crunchy BUT after chilling the pie, the sugar will have dissolved and WILL be silky smooth. I have had this same experience when I make Tiramisu filling. I used your crust recipe although I reduced the shortening/lard by 2 tbsp and added 1 tbsp sugar, and my son proclaimed it was delicious (and he doesn’t like crust!)
    Thanks so much!

  24. AMAZING pie, as usual! Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I’m considering making another with my extra crust! I’m sad it’s gone. Would this recipe be able to work on mini bite sized pies?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Madeline, We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Yes, it should work as mini pies!

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