This rich and indulgent pie has a chocolate mousse filling topped with fluffy whipped cream inside a flaky, tender, buttery pie crust. It’s showstoppingly gorgeous and perfect for the holidays – or any time of year!
You all know how much I love chocolate, and the truth is, I never get tired of it. Whether I’m eating a bite of chocolate tart, chocolate caramel truffles, or even spoonfuls of chocolate ganache (yes, I’m 100% guilty of doing this), chocolate is probably my #1 love language.
When I went back to work, one of my first priorities was to create a new chocolate pie for the holidays, and I knew French silk pie would be it.
What is French silk pie?
While French is in the title, this pie is actually 100% all-American. French silk pie was created by a woman named Betty Cooper who won runner up in the 1951 Pillsbury Bake Off with her own recipe.
French silk pie is traditionally made with buttery, flaky pie crust, although some recipes call for chocolate cookie or Oreo cookie crumb crusts. The filling is an ultra-rich chocolate mousse made with whole eggs, whipped butter, and whipped cream – pretty much everything I love in addition to chocolate, which is why I was dying to create my own recipe.
So without further ado, let’s talk about how to make this pie.
How to make French silk pie
- Make the pie crust dough. I use my perfect pie crust, which is tender, flaky, and not overly sweet. I recommend checking out my blog post for tips on how to make it plus a complete step-by-step guide. Once you’ve made the dough, put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
- Roll out your pie crust. We need to blind bake the pie crust because the chocolate mousse filling does not get baked. To do this, roll out your pie dough to a 12-14-inch round and line a 9×1.5-inch pie pan so there is about a 1/2-inch of overhang. Tuck the overhang under itself, creating a thicker border. Then, use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges to make a decorative border.
- Blind bake. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the pie shell so that it’s covered completely. Top the parchment paper with beans, rice, or pie weights to hold the paper in place. Then, place the pie crust in a 375°F/190°C oven for 15 minutes. Once the edges start to brown slightly, remove the parchment paper and pie weights and poke the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times to prevent it from bubbling up. Then, return the crust to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until it is browned and the middle of the crust feels dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Make the base of the filling. Place the eggs and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler on the stove top. With the heat on medium, allow the eggs to cook and the sugar to melt, whisking every minute or so to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the sugar is completely melted, remove the eggs from the stove top and whisk in the melted and cooled bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. Set aside to continue to cool until room temperature (a little warmer is okay).
- Combine with whipped butter. Whip room temperature butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a handheld mixer to whip it until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly pour the cooled chocolate-egg mixture into the whipped butter, mixing together so all the ingredients combine.
- Fold in whipped cream. The last step is to whip cold cream to medium peaks and fold 2 cups of it into the mixture. Check out my post on how to make perfect whipped cream for some extra tips and tricks. Pour the mousse into your baked pie crust, smoothing the top and garnishing with the remaining whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
- Chill. Chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Commonly asked questions
Why do I need to blind bake my crust?
The filling of the pie is not baked, so the crust needs to be completely baked before adding the filling to it.
Are the eggs cooked?
Yes, this recipe calls to cook the eggs completely in a double boiler with the sugar to remove any harmful pathogens.
Does it matter what type of chocolate I use?
You should use dark chocolate, such as bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for this recipe. The better the quality of chocolate, the better the pie will taste, but any chocolate from gourmet brands to grocery store chocolate chips will work.
What can I use to garnish this pie?
I love using simple chocolate shavings to top the whipped cream for a clean and elegant look, but don’t be afraid to get creative – drizzle some chocolate ganache on top or anything that pairs well with chocolate.
Why do I have extra chocolate filling?
I developed this recipe so there would be a bit leftover to ensure you would have enough to fill a standard 9×1.5-inch pie pan.
Why don’t I have enough chocolate filling?
If your pie tin is bigger than 9×1.5-inches, consider making extra filling to ensure you have enough to fill your pie crust completely. While most pie tins are 9-inches in diameter, some are taller than 1.5-inches. If your pie tin is 9×1.75-inches or 9×2-inches tall, I recommend multiplying each filling ingredient in the recipe by 1.25 to ensure you have enough to fill your pie shell to the top.
Tips for making perfect French silk pie
- Use homemade pie crust. While you can purchase premade pie crust in the grocery store, I highly recommend making your own because it really does taste better.
- Let the melted chocolate cool. Before combining the melted chocolate with the cooked eggs and sugar, make sure it has cooled down to about room temperature (a little warmer is okay) so that it doesn’t cause the eggs to coagulate when you combine the two. The mixture will still be a bit warm, place it in the refrigerator to cool faster while you whip the butter.
- Make sure the chocolate mixture is cool before combining with the butter. The butter not only adds flavor to the pie, but it adds body and texture, too. If the chocolate mixture is too warm, it will melt the butter and cause it to be less fluffy.
- Use cold cream. Cold cream whips much more easily than when it’s room temperature, so leave it in the fridge until right before you are going to whip it. You can even place your whisk attachment and bowl in the fridge, too!
- Let the pie chill before serving. French silk pie needs time to chill to set up properly. Allow to chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
More of my favorite chocolate pies and cakes
- No-Bake Chocolate Tart: This rich and creamy tart has a crunchy Oreo crust and a smooth chocolate ganache filling.
- Easy Nutella Banana Tart: Ripe bananas topped with creamy Nutella ganache in a chocolate cookie crust.
- Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake: Rich and fudgy chocolate cake is made with ground hazelnuts and Nutella for a truly decadent dessert.
- Easy S’mores Pie: This is s’mores in pie form! Made with graham cracker crust, chocolate ganache filling, and toasted meringue topping.
Rich chocolate mousse topped with pillow soft whipped cream in a buttery, flaky pie crust.
- 1/2 recipe perfect pie crust
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (112g) granulated sugar
- 225g (8 oz.) semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream (for both filling and topping)
- Chocolate shavings
Roll out the dough: Take your pie dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough gently into a 9×1.5-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pan and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan and crimp the edges to form a border. Place the pie shell in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Blind bake the pie crust: Line the pie shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Place it in a 375°F/190°C oven for 15 minutes. Once the edges start to brown slightly, remove the parchment paper and pie weights. Then, use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the pie to prevent it from puffing up. Return the crust to the oven to finish baking for another 10 minutes until it is browned and the middle of the crust feels dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the chocolate mousse filling: Place the eggs and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler on the stove top. With the heat on medium, allow the eggs to cook and the sugar to melt, whisking every minute or so to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the sugar is completely melted, remove the stove top and whisk in melted and cooled bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. Set aside to continue to cool – it can be a little warmer than room temperature, but no warmer (you can place it in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the process).
Whip room temperature butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a handheld mixer to whip it until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly pour the cooled chocolate-egg mixture into the whipped butter, mixing together so all the ingredients combine.
In a seperate medium bowl using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form; they should hold their shape but have a soft texture. Using a spatula, gently fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in another cup.
Pour filling into the pan over the crust and smooth the top. Then, top with the remaining cream, smoothing it flat but leaving some chocolate showing around the edge of the pie. Top with chocolate shavings.
Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or until completely set, before serving. Serve cold.
French silk pie will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
TheFlowersPointOctober 15, 2022 at 2:42 am
Very nice receipe
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.October 20, 2022 at 2:42 am
Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it!
Julie GJanuary 23, 2023 at 8:40 pm
Would you say it’s best to melt the chocolate before you start the crust? Wondering if you melted it in a bowl over simmering water or just in the microwave? This looks like a nice recipe and I’d like to try it. Thank you.
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.January 24, 2023 at 6:26 am
Hi Julie, I recommend melting the chocolate around the time the pie crust is baking. This will give it enough time to cool so it doesn’t melt the mousse when you fold it into the egg mixture. However, if you find it begins to solidify again, simply heat it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir to melt. The chocolate should be a bit warmer than room temperature when you fold into the egg mixture :), and the pie crust should be completely cooled before filling with mousse.