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

172 Comments

  1. Excellent recipe. I did use chocolate chips, Ghirardelli Bittersweet which high cocoa fat content works. I added a T. of dry cocoa and a tiny pinch of salt to the warm eggs for extra zing. I also ran the cooked egg mix thru a sieve, which I think is always a good idea so there are no scrambled bits to ruin the silky texture. Overall, a very good recipe.

  2. Just made 3 of these in a cookie pie crust for my son’s tenth birthday party. All I heard were raves – these kids loved this pie! And I loved that the eggs were cooked so I felt better about serving to a bunch of fourth grade boys. Thank you Sally – we trust you for all of our special event treats!

  3. So good! And mad respect to people who bake pies for a living. A lot of work went into this

  4. There was a lot of steps to make this pie…. totally true it was worth all
    Of them!!! Rave reviews from my family and I will be making this again and again and again! Incredible texture
    Delicious!

  5. Sue Vendetti says:

    I enjoyed making this pie. It presented enough of a challenge for my inexperienced self LOL. The filling is really delicious and rich but it’s pretty dense. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be like that or if I have taken a misstep somewhere along the way. It didn’t make it any less yummy though my friends devoured it . I welcome your comments

    1. Hi Sue, I’m so glad to read that you tried this pie recipe. Thinning out the filling could help if you decide to try the recipe again. Make the whipped cream as directed, then stir in 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Basically, you are thinning out the whipped cream itself by folding in liquid. (Whipping into soft peaks instead of stiff peaks could work too, but I recommend this method.)

      1. Thank you I’m be sure to try that next time!

  6. ONE WORD…PHENOMENAL! The ONLY French silk pie recipe you’ll ever need. It didn’t last 2 days, LOLL it’s become my absolute favorite! Thank you Sally for a wonderful recipe!

  7. I made this yesterday to serve today. When I was filling the pie crust, I sampled the filling which was delicious and the perfect air filled texture. By serving time today, the filling had hardened almost to the point of making it difficult to cut. Did I do something wrong ? I almost feel like there should be less butter and more whipped cream. It tasted good but had a much dryer dense texture than I would consider as mousse-like. Your thoughts?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nancy, Thank you for trying this recipe! I wonder if your pie simply wasn’t covered and dried out since you thought the filling was perfect after you made it. If you try it again, be sure to completely and tightly wrap the pie with plastic wrap while it’s in the refrigerator.

  8. Melissa Greenwood says:

    Can I use butter flavored shortening for the French silk pie?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      For the crust? We haven’t tested it but don’t see why not. Let us know how it goes!

      1. Melissa Greenwood says:

        I went ahead used the original. Wanted to follow the recipe exactly for my first time. Thanks!

  9. So what is the difference between the semi chocolate chips and the bars?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sue, chocolate chips contain stabilizers that prevent them from melting, which isn’t ideal for this recipe. The filling won’t set without using quality pure chocolate (without the stabilizers). See recipes notes for more details!

  10. My daughter and I made this pie for Easter Sunday dessert. We were disappointed with a number of things. It took over 20 minutes of whisking and heating to get the egg mixture to temp. After all that time, it was quite thick and not silky. In spite of beating the butter/sugar mixture properly, the sugar remained granular in the finished pie. We were actually crunching sugar while eating. The pie was dense, most likely due to the overdone egg mixture. For all the time, energy, and expensive ingredients, we felt it just was not worth the effort. And we are bakers with lots of experiences.

  11. This was amazing! It took forever, and now I understand why French Silk Pies cost so much to buy! This is the second time I’ve made Sally’s crust, and although I follow the recipe, haven’t had great luck with it turning out (crumbly) – but it tasted great!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Beth! We’re so happy to hear that you loved this pie! If you are experiencing a crumbly crust, the dough may have been over-worked and/or it was too dry. Don’t be afraid to add more ice water until the dough clumps together and feels a little moist. Keep the fats as cold as possible, use a pastry cutter to cut in the fats by hand, and don’t overwork them. You want little pieces of cold butter throughout. Hope this helps!

  12. Followed directions to an absolute T (science background!), weighed ingredients, used a timer for all suggested times, etc…grainy, crunchy result.

  13. Did you use a deep dish pie pan for this? Thanks in advance

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, we used a standard pie dish. If you want to use a deep dish pie pan, it will require a bit more than half of the crust recipe to reach all the way up the sides. There are a couple links to the exact products listed in the recipe notes below the recipe if that helps!

  14. Sharon Spaulding says:

    Can I use ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips the store by me does not carry the semi sweet bars

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharon! Pure baking chocolate is best- you can use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate for a darker flavor (see recipe note). Chocolate chips do not melt properly for this filling.

      1. Sharon spaulding says:

        Thanks for answering Will try the bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate will let u know how it turns out

  15. Followed the recipe precisely and it came out super gritty. Really bummed because it was a lot of work for a so-so result.

  16. Thank you for publishing this recipe Sally! I tried this pie for very first time in my life, and even though I am not experienced in baking and live in other part of world where some ingredients are of a different quality, it turned out really well and I can’t wait to bake it again

  17. Definitely worth the trouble very impressive dessert. It’s a to die for desert I definitely will make it again.

  18. I’ve had great success with most recipes on this site, but this was not one of them. This was more like chocolate butter than a silk pie. It’s better than the ones that use non-dairy topping, but if I were to try this again I would use half the butter and sugar

  19. Just wanted to hop on here and say I made this dairy free, since I’m lactose intolerant. It still turned out amazing! I used Silk heavy whipping cream alternative and Earth Balance butter. This is exactly what I was craving! Will definitely try with an Oreo crust next time.

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