French Silk Pie
Homemade French silk pie looks impressive, but it’s actually very easy to prepare. A buttery pie crust is filled with a rich but airy chocolate filling, then topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
If you’ve shied away from making French silk pie thinking it’d be too difficult to make, think again. Believe it or not, this rich and creamy chocolate pie is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of a party or family gathering.
French silk pie gets its name from its incredibly smooth and silky filling. The texture of this pie is similar to chocolate mousse and it literally melts in your mouth!
This French silk chocolate pie is also a knockout pie recipe you can enjoy year-round. I’m looking forward to making it over the holidays, but it’s perfect for any occasion!
Ingredients in This Recipe
This chocolate silk pie uses basic ingredients you may have on hand already. Let’s quickly review the ingredients needed for this recipe:
- Pie crust: You may use a store-bought pie crust, or you can make your own.
- Eggs: You’ll need four large eggs to make the filling.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the chocolate filling without affecting the flavor.
- Chocolate: I recommend using high quality chocolate bars for this recipe like Bakers or Ghirardelli. I don’t recommend using chocolate chips for this recipe because they have stabilizers added to them and won’t give you the same consistency.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract is always my preference for baking.
- Unsalted butter: Set the butter out about an hour before you begin the recipe. It needs to be room temperature before it can be added to the filling.
- Heavy Cream: Make sure to look for one that says heavy whipping cream or heavy cream. Your cream needs to have at least 36% fat to thicken properly.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Sweetens the whipped cream and helps to stabilize it.
How to Make French Silk Pie
This is an easy pie recipe that anyone can make. You must be very gentle when mixing the whipped cream into the chocolate filling, but otherwise this is a straightforward recipe.
- Make the pie crust: You can use a store-bought crust or make it yourself.
- Roll out the pie crust: Roll it out and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. I also recommend using a pie plate that’s at least 2 inches deep because this recipe makes a lot of filling.
- Trim and decorate the edges, then refrigerate for 15 minutes. This will give the dough time to relax and prevent it from shrinking in the oven.
- Blind bake the pie crust: The crust needs to be fully baked before the filling can be added to it. I’ve given step-by-step instructions on how to blind bake the pie crust in the recipe card below. For more tips, read my post on How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust.
While the crust cools you can make the chocolate filling. Here’s exactly how to do that:
- Cook the eggs and sugar: First, you’ll need to heat the eggs and sugar in a double boiler. I recommend using a thermometer to make sure the eggs are fully cooked through. Once the thermometer reaches 160°F, you can remove the mixture from the heat.
- To the eggs, add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Set the mixture aside to cool. Be sure to stir the chocolate mixture occasionally.
- Cream the butter: Next, add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until it’s light and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Combine the butter and chocolate mixture: Slowly add the chocolate-egg mixture to the butter and continue mixing until it’s lightened in color.
- Make the whipped cream: In another bowl, beat together the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Gently stir together the filling: Carefully fold the whipped cream into the chocolate filling. Make sure not to overmix, as that would result in a flat filling.
- Turn the filling into the fully baked, cooled pie crust.
- Chill the pie: Cover the pie and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. The filling needs time to set up, so don’t skip this step!
- Garnish and serve: After 6 hours, top with additional whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Is the Filling Safe to Eat?
Yes, as long as you’re not allergic to eggs it’s safe to eat. Since the eggs are heated to 160ºF using a double boiler, they’re perfectly safe to add to the filling. Although they’ll be runny when mixed with the melted chocolate, they’re technically cooked and no longer considered to be raw.
Can This Recipe Be Prepared in Advance?
Yes, the pie dough can be prepared up to three days ahead of time. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. You can also bake the pie crust 1 to 2 days in advance so that’s it’s ready to go when you make the filling.
Once you’ve made the pie it will keep for up to 4 days, just be sure to cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator.
- This recipe makes a lot of filling so I suggest using a pie dish that’s about 1 1/2 to 2-inches deep.
- I don’t recommend using chocolate chips to make the filling. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that make them resistant to melting, which can result in a less-than-silky filling.
- For the best French silk pie, let the pie chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours prior to serving it. The filling needs time to set up before it can be sliced.
- If you prefer to use an Oreo pie crust instead, you can use this recipe here.
More Chocolate Desserts for a Crowd!
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
- Chocolate Mousse
French Silk Pie
For the crust
- 1 pie crust homemade or store-bought
For the filling
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (250 grams)
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate bars roughly chopped (226 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature (230 grams)
- 1 ½ cups cold heavy whipping cream (360 ml)
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (15 grams)
For the topping
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (240 ml)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons confectioners sugar (15 to 30 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings as garnish
- To make the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll your pie crust dough out to about 12-inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate that’s at least 1.5 to 2-inches deep and gently fit it into the dish. Trim any excess dough and decorate the edges. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 10 to 15 minutes to give the dough time to relax.
- Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent bubbling. Line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake with the pie weights at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper (or foil) and the pie weights.
- Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and fully baked. If you're using a store-bought pie crust, it may take a little less time.
- Set aside to cool completely before adding the filling.
- To make the filling: Combine the eggs and granulated sugar in a large heat-proof bowl and whisk until well combined. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir frequently using a whisk until the mixture registers 160°F (71°C) on a digital thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20 to 30 second increments, stirring well after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Whisk the melted chocolate and vanilla extract into the egg mixture. Allow to cool for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally if needed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the chocolate egg mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and lightened in color. Set aside.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream and confectioners sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in half of the whipped cream, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until just combined.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared and fully cooled pie crust and spread into one even layer.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- To make the topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled pie. Garnish with chocolate curls or shavings, if desired, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This was amazing. it is so rich but absolutely delicious!
Thank you, Nancy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pie!
I made the recipe last night but fell asleep at the wheel and when the pie filling was done my crust wasn’t so I punted and made a quick gram cracker crust that didn’t distract from the quality of the recipe. Great review from the person that counts my wife. The one thing I didn’t see was how to make the chocolate flakes for the top of the whip cream. I ended up grating it so my presentation was not as good as the taste but I got the most important thing right. Thank you.
So glad you enjoyed the pie, Richard! There are a lot of tutorials online for how to make chocolate curls, but I will add it to my list to do a post on. To make them, you can melt some chocolate with a teaspoon or two of shortening, spread it into a very thin layer on a cookie sheet, and freezer it for 3 to 4 minutes, then use a spatula or scraper to make the curls.