Friday, November 27, 2009

French Silk Pie

When I was young, a holiday was never a holiday without a French Silk Pie. It was one of my grandmother's specialties. She passed away when I was 9, and sadly, I never learned how to make it from her. After she passed away, we had many Thanksgivings and Christmases without this delicious dessert, until a few years ago when my aunt picked up the slack. This year I was in charge of the Thanksgiving sweet treats, so it was my turn to test my French Silk Pie making skills.

This is an amazing dessert for so many reasons. The crust is perfect - flaky and buttery. The pie is light and airy and melts in your mouth, it is rich and deeply chocolate-y, it looks like it took hours to make but it really only takes a matter of minutes (not including the time it takes to make the crust). It does contain raw eggs, but I think we can look past that, don't you? I mean if I can do it, so can you. I am not at all a fan of eggs, and this is far and away the only way you could ever get me to eat raw ones. I'm working on a version with cooked eggs - when I figure it out, I'll let you know. Until then, this is just too delicious to pass up because of a couple of raw eggs, so I hope you'll give it a try.

French Silk Pie

All-Butter Pie Crust
adapted from Good for Almost Everything Pie Crust by Dorie Greenspan

makes a 9" double crust

3 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
13 ounces (3 sticks + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until it is well-distributed. There should be pieces of butter in varying sizes. Add the water a little at a time, working the dough with your fingers to incorporate it. Add as much of the water as you need for the dough to form a ball. If you need a little extra water, go ahead and add it. When the dough has come together, divide it into two equal pieces. For a single crust, roll out one piece of dough on a well-floured board. Place in buttered 9" pie plate, trim the edges, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let crust cool completely before filling.


4 oz best quality semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream + more for topping

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter. After about 2 minutes, add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When chocolate is fluid, slowly add it to mixer in a thin stream. When all of the chocolate is incorporated, pour heavy cream in a thin stream and whip on high for about 2 minutes. Spoon filling into crust, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

When ready to serve, remove pie from fridge and top with freshly whipped heavy cream that has been lightly sweetened with agave.


  1. People always rave about this dessert, so am sure it was a hit! It looks very's always fun to have something with layers.

  2. I only have one thing to say about this pie - UUUUUMMMMM!!!!!

  3. That looks sooooo good, but it is the raw eggs that has always kept me from it. I can not help it, it scares me a little. LOL!! It is a little phobia of mine.

  4. Looks delicious! I have a similar recipe on my blog, though the ingredient quantities are considerably different. Does it taste like Baker's Square? That's what I LOVE about the one i have, it's exactly like it :) MMMMM! I'm making mine for Christmas!

  5. I love French Silk Pie and yours looks perfect. I had no idea it had raw eggs; but, if that is all that's bothering you you can shock them in boiling (rolling boil) water for a few seconds to kill off any bacteria. I do that when I make mayonnaise or aioli sauce. Try it.

  6. Why can't you use pasturized eggs?

  7. Laurelvb, Thanks for the tip! I wasn't aware of this trick.

    Luisa, You could certainly use pasteurized eggs! I get my eggs from a local farmer, so they are not pasteurized (let alone washed!), and I prefer them that way.

  8. Having a chocolate dessert at the holiday table is a great tradition, this looks terrific!

  9. Sarah, your pie looks sooooo delicious! I love french silk pie and Dorie's crust is such a winner...what a combo! Wish I had a slice right now! :)

  10. I haven't had French silk pie in forever! You've got me wanting to make it now. I'd definitely go with pasteurized eggs. I've used them before in things that weren't going to be cooked at all and they've worked great.

  11. That is one gorgeous pie! We had a chocolate dessert at our Thanksgiving too. I think it's just the thing to break up all of the other seasonal treats!

  12. Your recipe looks great - I'm giving it a go now!

  13. looks amazing! By the way it is really easy to pasturize your own eggs. Google it! Basically you put the eggs in water that is hot enough to kill samonella etc, but not hot enough to cook them. The only thing you need it a food thermomter (the first time I did this I made due with a meat thermometer)

  14. I have made this pie, with this recipe, so many times. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate finding it. It's perfect.

  15. Stories like this are exactly why we're celebrating holiday food traditions on this month's Shine Supper Club. That connection between food and memory, particularly around the holidays, is so sweet, and I'm so glad you've picked up the French Silk Pie mantle from your grandmother! I hope you'll consider joining us!


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