Rich, creamy, and supremely decadent, French silk pie is a classic dessert recipe. This homemade version is guaranteed to be a showstopper!
Classic French Silk Pie Recipe
You’ve undoubtedly enjoyed a slice of French silk pie at a diner or chain restaurant, or maybe you bought a frozen version at the grocery store to thaw out for a sweet treat. But have you ever tried making it yourself?
Oh, is it worth it! The buttery crust, the intense chocolate flavor of the velvety smooth filling, and a mound of fluffy whipped cream on top—and we can’t forget those signature chocolate curls either! I’ll never turn down a slice of French silk pie at a diner, but the homemade version is next-level delicious.
Why You’ll Love This French Silk Pie
Here’s why you’ll adore this French silk pie recipe.
- Decadent. Rich. Intensely chocolatey. Indulgent. If these words describe your idea of the perfect dessert, then you’ll love this old-fashioned French silk pie recipe.
- No raw eggs. Did you know the original version of this recipe is made with raw eggs? Many people are put off by this fact and don’t attempt to make the recipe at home. This version cooks the eggs just enough to make them safe to eat without compromising the texture of the filling.
- Classic. I’ll admit, I love creative desserts that combine all kinds of flavors and ingredients (ahem: Cookie Butter Cheesecake Brownies), but sometimes you crave a simple classic. For pure chocolate indulgence, it doesn’t get much better than French silk pie.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
For the pie:
- Pastry – I use my All-Butter Pie Crust, but your preferred pie crust or a store-bought pastry crust works for French silk pie, too. For a twist on the classic, you could also use a graham cracker crust or an Oreo crust.
- Heavy cream – You simply can’t substitute half-and-half or whole milk here; French silk pie is not the recipe for cutting calories!
- Granulated sugar
- Eggs – Eggs are responsible for that smooth, lovely French silk pie filling.
- Dark chocolate – Learn more: Types of Chocolate: A Home Baker’s Guide
- Vanilla extract – Use store-bought or homemade vanilla extract.
- Unsalted butter – Learn more: Unsalted or Salted Butter: Which is Better for Baking?
For the topping:
- Heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar.
- Chocolate curls or chopped chocolate – For garnish.
How Do You Make Chocolate Curls?
You can buy chocolate curls, but it’s also easy to make them. Start with a large milk chocolate bar and shave it into curls with a vegetable peeler. Work slowly to keep the curls from breaking.
How to Make French Silk Pie
This French silk pie takes a bit of time to make, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Make the Crust
Form the crust. Roll out the pastry, then place it in a 9-inch pie pan and crimp the edges as desired. Chill it in the freezer for an hour. Near the end of this time, start preheating your oven to 350ºF.
Bake the crust. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper so the lining overhangs the edges slightly. Place pie weights, sugar, dried beans, or rice in the crust, then bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Cool the crust. Use the overhanging lining to lift the lining and pie weights from the crust. Let the crust cool completely before adding the French silk pie filling.
Make the Filling
Whip the cream. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the cream in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Chill in the refrigerator.
Heat the sugar, eggs, and salt. Fill a saucepan with about 1/2 inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl on top and whisk the sugar, eggs, and salt inside. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F and coats the back of a spoon.
Cool the egg. Remove the egg mixture from the heat. Set it on a hot pad or towel and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it at half-power in 30-second increments until the chocolate melts when you stir it.
Beat the egg mixture. After the egg mixture has cooled for 5 minutes, beat it with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until it’s completely cooled; this will take 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chocolate and vanilla. Stir the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture.
Beat the butter. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until it’s light and fluffy.
Finish the filling. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
Chill. Spread the French silk pie filling into the cooled crust and chill for at least 6 hours.
Make the Topping and Assemble
Whip the cream. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the heavy cream and vanilla until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Finish. Spread the whipped cream over the chilled French silk pie, garnish, and serve.
Tips for Success
Read over my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional tips for a perfect French silk pie.
- Cool the egg completely. If you don’t, the filling mixture could curdle.
- Take your time when folding the whipped cream. Go slowly and don’t over-mix, which can deflate the cream—and your filling.
- Be patient. Chill the pie for at least 6 hours to allow it to set properly before serving. If you cut into it sooner, you’re likely to have a mess on your hands.
The classic topping for French silk pie is chocolate curls or shavings, but raspberries or strawberries are also delicious—and fresh fruit can cut some of the richness of the recipe.
How to Store
French Silk Pie should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
You can freeze French silk pie for up to 3 months before adding the whipped cream topping. Wrap the pie tightly and let it thaw in the refrigerator, then added the whipped cream and serve.