I fell madly in love with the classic French Silk Pie as a teen. But until I made my own from scratch, I didn’t realize how truly exquisite it truly was.
Classic French Silk Pie
My mom loved to shop. It must be genetic. A few weekends a year, the family would pile in our Plymouth Satellite station wagon, without a radio or even seat belts, and drive the 30+ miles to the big metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa for a little retail therapy.
My parents would often arrange a detour through the art museum in hopes some culture would rub off, then trek to Pier One along with whatever else my mom had on her shopping list. Occasionally we’d return home with a massive box of Sara Lee danish or new tops from the sale racks of the downtown Younkers, but our favorite stop was for a slice of pie before we set out for home.
I used to gravitate towards Dutch apple, until I had my first bite of the classic French silk pie. That chocolate number topped them all.
Homemade French Silk
Watching the original Martha Stewart cooking show, I became totally engaged when I saw her prepare a classic French silk pie. Made with butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, and vanilla, it was pure heaven. Slices are topped with whipped cream, and I can’t resist adding chocolate curls or shavings as a garnish.
I doubt that chain restaurant from my youth used real butter in their version. So homemade is definitely a heck of a lot better. Note that the eggs are not cooked so use pasteurized eggs if serving to young children or the elderly. Otherwise, you should be OK using good quality organic pasture raised eggs, but make sure you are well aware of the risk of salmonella.
Tips for Making French Silk Pie
This decadent chocolate pie has a few simple ingredients, so it’s imperative that you use top quality ingredients. No margarine, just pure dairy butter, good quality chocolate and the best pastry crust you can muster.
- Your butter should be at room temperature so it becomes light and fluffy when beaten. Use a European butter if you’d like a real treat! The amount of butterfat is slightly higher.
- Don’t use inexpensive sweetened chocolate. Ghirardelli is fine, but generic brands may not give the best results.
- If you’re comfortable making pie crust, a homemade crust made with at least part real butter is a phenomenal base for this French silk pie.
- PRO-Tip: The eggs are not cooked in this dessert so use caution and don’t serve it to small children, the elderly or anyone who is immune compromised unless you use pasteurized eggs.
- Salmonella, a food borne illness, is often spread via uncooked eggs. I’ve pasteurized eggs at home by keeping them at 140 degrees in hot water for 3 minutes. But I still would not serve this to anyone at risk.
- Keep this pie refrigerated.
- To serve, you may like to garnish with chocolate curls and piped whipped cream rosettes. I stabilize the cream by adding Whip It, so it keeps its shape.
- Alternatively, you can pass whipped cream with a slice of pie or spread whipped cream all over the top of the pie (my go-to method when serving this pie to my family).
If you love chocolate pie, check out these: Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pie, German Chocolate Pie and Triple Chocolate Layer Pie. Check out these links to learn how to make chocolate curls or chocolate shards.
Classic French Silk Pie
A recipe for Classic French Silk Pie, a dreamy chocolate pie topped with whipped cream.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert, Pie
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 baked 9-inch pastry shell, cooled
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup Imperial brand granulated sugar
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 package Whip-It (optional)
- Chocolate curls or shavings, to garnish if desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, till light and fluffy. With mixer running, gradually add melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for 5 minutes after each addition. Pour filling into cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Before serving, whip one cup of heavy cream, adding sugar and vanilla to taste. I also add an envelope of Whip-It to stabilize the cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.
Adapted from Jean Webster via the Martha Stewart website.
Total time does not include chilling time.
Disclosure: Imperial Sugar donated product for our event. I did not receive any other compensation for writing this post and all opinions are my own.