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!

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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) 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

103 Comments

  1. What am I doing wrong? Every time I use a pie recipe from this site I never have as much pie dough as in the video. Not even close. I have 9 in pyrex pie plates and I barely make it up the edges with crust that is rolled to less than 1/4 inch. Is the crust recipe really for two crusts?

    1. Hi Kelly, Are you using a deep dish pie plate? If so it will require a bit more than half of the crust recipe to reach all the way up the sides.

  2. I made this recipe, but used Oreo cookie crust. It was Wonderful! I have always loved French Silk, but never imagined that I could make a filling like that. It definitely won’t be my last! Next one will be in the flakey pastry crust.
    Thank you, Sally!

  3. Can you describe what the texture of the filling should be? Mine is ending up hard… If I serve it right out of the fridge, it is actually a bit crumbly. Even if I sit it out for a while, it never gets creamy or like a mousse. I’ve never had a French silk pie before, so maybe my expectation is off?
    Thanks!

    1. Thick and creamy– not crumbly. Did you perhaps over-beat the whipped cream or use a different chocolate product? Did you make any substitutions by chance?

      1. I didn’t make any substitutions, but I’m wondering now if I folded the whipped cream in too much? I folded it until there were no traces of white… maybe I mixed the air out of it?

  4. My filling doesn’t seem nearly as dark as yours does, I checked and re-checked before adding ingredients, so I know I didn’t mess up! Have any idea what the cause could’ve been?
    Also, would I be able to add more chocolate next time to get a richer flavor? Or would that mess up the whole thing?
    (I’m just waiting on the pie to set in the fridge, I can’t wait to try it!! I did taste the filling and it is just scrumptious. )

    1. Hi Aubrey, The filling color can be from the color of our ingredients – my butter might be more yellow, my vanilla a darker brown, etc. or it could just be the lighting in the photo! If it tastes great and sets up properly then you did everything right! I use and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate for a darker flavor.

      1. Thank you so much for getting back to me! It turned out perfectly, but I will try it with unsweetened chocolate as I like a more rich chocolate flavor. 😀

  5. I made this and got rave reviews from family. Thanks for the recipe and all the detailed instructions. Next time I’ll break it up into a multi-day process, as it was quite a bit of work for one day, but well worth the results!

    1. I’m so glad it was hit with your family, Leah! Next time see the make ahead tips in the recipe notes for lots of options on how to make it ahead of time.

  6. I tried it and it turned out perfect. I did make a few adjustments though. I made a chocolate cookie crust, added 6oz semisweet chocolate instead of 4oz, 1/4c cocoa powder, and a tbsp cornstarch. It seemed like it wouldn’t be chocolaty or dark enough without the extra chocolate and cocoa, but maybe that’s just me. I added the cornstarch to ensure it would be thick enough, as the last pie filling recipe I tried (not from this site) was too thin. It was a good about of work, but worth it. The people who tried it seemed very impressed.

  7. The sugar in my filling is grainy. I really hope that smooth out as it sits. I’m going to be really sad if my pie is gross.

    1. Cheryl,

      Did it ever smooth out? Mine is setting right now and I’m worried about the same thing

    2. I had the exact same problem. Hoping after it chills the sugar dissolves a bit. It’s from beating the sugar with the butter – it didn’t get a chance to dissolve.
      Next time I think I’m going to leave the second half cup of sugar out to avoid that.

      1. If you don’t completely cream the butter and sugar that can happen. My mom taught me to make French Silk, and she always let her butter/sugar mix for closer to 5 minutes. It should be noticeably smoother and lighter in color. If that doesn’t work, try the extra fine sugar which is a bit hard to find in my metro area due to covid, but that always made a huge difference to my pie.

  8. My Daughter and Husband’s favorite dessert is french silk pie. I have made it the traditional way with uncooked eggs tons of times. I was a bit nervous trying this recipe for my husbands birthday this week. But Oh My Gosh! This is Soo good! Still taste like French Silk Pie but just smoother and more dense maybe? I also didn’t have to fight the grainy sugar to dissolve or put the bowl in the freezer repeatedly. Totally sold on this recipe!!

    1. So my pie turned out kind of buttery tasting. It’s texture was good just tasted like I was eating chocolate butter. I did mess up my egg and sugar I accidentally added all the sugar while cooking the egg so I just creamed the butter alone. Could that have caused it maybe??

  9. Wow. This is amazing. I didn’t make the crust because I already had some in my freezer to use up but the filling is perfect. It’s somehow both light/airy and yet completely decadent at the same time. I kind of wish I didn’t make this because I don’t have enough self control to resist it!

  10. Is it okay to use salted butter in the filling instead?

    1. Absolutely! Same amount. No need to adjust the added salt.

  11. Before it is chilled, is the filling supposed to be grainy from the sugar?

  12. Thank you. The pie came out really well, just found it a little too sweet for my taste, others found it just right! Now I have a question, how do I cover to keep for tomorrow? Again thanks, your explanations for the recipes are very useful and easy to follow.

  13. Hey, just curious if I could skip the step where you heat the egg mixture and just use it raw, if I don’t mind the risks associated with that? I’m thinking it may change the consistency of the filling but feel that there is no reason that it should.

    1. You can certainly try it!

  14. My turned out grainy from the sugar and butter mixture. Did I do something wrong??

    1. Mine turned out grainy as well- I think it was because I didn’t let the butter come to room temperature when I added the sugar and beat it well enough. The next time I made it I did not add sugar to the butter when I whipped it. Instead when I cooked my eggs I used the full cup of sugar.

  15. Omg!!! This was such a delicious dessert for Easter!! We always order a French Silk Pie from a restaurant. But, I wanted to make my own this time. Your recipe was amazing! I used your blind baked shell and it held up perfectly! I was nervous when the filing seemed grainy initially. But, it just need to set in the refrigerator to fix that! It was firm and perfect! I added chocolate curls and it looked just like I bought it!! Thank you!!

  16. Donna H Vaughn says:

    I made the pie this weekend – actually twice! It was delicious!
    I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar in one pie and Ghiradelli Semisweet bars in the other one and they both turned out well
    I used an Oreo cookie crust ( 10 oz crushed Oreos and 5 oz melted, Salted Butter)
    Your directions were very thorough and the pies turned out great.
    Thanks so much!

  17. I made a GF version with a pre-made crust and it turned out amazing! I’d made a single pie the first time and only got one piece when my family devoured it, so this time I doubled it and it worked great. In fact, with the size of these tiny crusts, I think I could have filled a third, which is what I’ll probably do next time!

    Assuming I can keep my son out of the second one, what’s the best way to freeze this? Does it require any special preparation?

    1. Hi Beth! So glad this pie was a hit! See my freezing instructions. I wrap it in a couple layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. It’s the best way (I’ve found) to freeze cream pies and maintain their texture/taste. I usually wait to decorate it with whipped cream on top until after thawing.

  18. How do I keep my pie from sticking to the ceramic pie dish? Can I use parchment paper?

    1. Hi Faiqua, Are you using one of my pie crust recipes? If so they both contain enough butter that they should not stick to the bottom of your pie dish. However, linking the bottom of your dish with parchment paper should be fine.

  19. I made this pie with unsweetened Baker’s chocolate so I had to add 1 tbsp. of sugar for each ounce of chocolate to make it “semi-sweet.” The directions were great. I liked cooking the eggs to make it safe since I was giving it away. So glad to find this recipe.

  20. Just okay. It took us a half hour to heat the eggs, not 10 minutes. By that time, the melted chocolate had started to harden again. The chocolate flavor in the filling is not particularly rich (even with using bittersweet chocolate.) I’ve made several different recipes for French silk pie, and I would make one of the other ones over this one in future.

  21. Theo Rogers says:

    Hi Sally,
    What temperature should I cook the eggs and sugar over the simmering water?

  22. Hello Sally,
    I was wondering- in order to cook the eggs, could I use a hand mixer on low speed instead of whisking it by hand? Thanks!

    1. Definitely.

  23. Pam Schmit says:

    I followed the directions exactly as written ( watched the video too which was very helpful). I used the Ghiradelli Semisweet bars which I melted in the microwave, took about 10 minutes. I used an instant thermometer when tempering the eggs, it took 12 minutes. Thank you Sally for the approximate times to complete each step. It really helped! I may have cooled the chocolate and eggs a bit longer than the time listed, but encountered no problem when combining them. The pie looked beautiful and tasted unbelievable. It’s very rich so I think it could easily serve 10 people.

  24. I want to make this pie, but in reading the comments, the sugar combined with the butter seems to be a bit of a problem. Can I combine all the sugar with the eggs and cook?

  25. Susan Hoglund says:

    I am reading the recipe–have not made it yet.
    I want to clarify the preparation of the eggs. What consistency should they be once they are done on the stove top? They are to cook for 10 – 11 minutes?
    To be honest, I don’t want to purchase an instant thermometer as I won’t use it very often. Can I use a standard candy thermometer?

    1. Hi Susan, you can use a candy thermometer. The eggs/sugar will be a very thinned out liquid.

  26. Excellent! Very light and fluffy. My whole family enjoyed this.

  27. This. Pie. Is. Unbelievable.
    Everyone I shared it with was equally impressed. I went out on limb and added the full cup of sugar with the eggs, rather than creaming 1/2 cup with the butter. The filling was perfect and set up just right. I’ll be making this one again sooner than later!

  28. Could I use pasteurized eggs? This way no heating the eggs necessary?

  29. I made this yesterday along with your all-butter pie crust and it is excellent! I’m an American living in France and have been craving this for a while now, it brings me back to the Baker’s Square pies we would buy growing up!

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