Sunday, November 25, 2012

French Silk Pie

Thanksgiving's over and the Christmas season is officially upon us. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited! But before all festivities begin I have to share what I made for Thanksgiving dessert this year. My whole family went to my grandparents place this year and had a wonderful time. My mom, Lara and I were in charge of bringing a couple of different things, including dessert of course! When I was trying to think of what to bring, Lara reminded me of this French Silk Pie that we have been wanting to make. Chocolate, cream, eggs, butter and sugar lying gently on a flaky, buttery pie crust. The perfect complement to our fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. It was a big hit, and a great recipe to have in your arsenal when looking for a rich, chocolaty dessert.

This pie is basically a chocolate mousse in a crust. The buttery crust is a nice complement for the smooth chocolate filling. The eggs are cooked on the stove with sugar and water so if you get worried about things like raw eggs (I don't) you have nothing to fear in this recipe. After the eggs are cooked you add in the chocolate, the butter, and finally fold in the whipped cream. Nothing too difficult, it just takes a little time. Scrape the filling into the pie crust and slide the whole thing into the fridge overnight. The next morning your dessert is ready! If you want, you can finish it off with some whipped cream, or just dig in. Either way it will be delicious!

Baked and cooled pie shell

Getting everything ready

Cook those eggs

Add in the chocolate, and then the butter

Fold in the whipped cream

Keep folding

You're done when you can no longer
see any white streaks

Transfer filling to pie crust
and let chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours

Top with a little more whipped cream

All set to eat!


And delicious!

French Silk Pie
From Treats; originally from Cook's Illustrated
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in to 1/2" cubes and softened
  • 1 pie shell (9-inch), baked and cooled (recipe below)
With electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer whipped cream to small bowl and refrigerate.

Combine eggs, sugar, and water in large heatproof bowl set over medium saucepan filled with ½ inch barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). With electric mixer on medium speed, beat until egg mixture is thickened and registers 160 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Add chocolate and vanilla to cool egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using spatula, fold in whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape filling into pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve with lightly sweetned whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Foolproof Pie Crust
From Treats; originally from Cook's Illustrated
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in to 6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled and cut in to 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold vodka
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
Process 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp.


  1. I don't think I've seen anything on your blog that doesn't look awesome!

    I noticed you were taking the temp in one of your pictures with your red thermometer. I am looking for a good accurate thermometer that will be good for everything from meats to candy, etc. What kind do you have and do you like it?

    Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving!


    1. Thanks Allison! I'm glad you like it!

      About the thermometer; the one in the picture is Taylor brand, I think it might be from Bed Bath and Beyond. It works pretty good. I have another one that is Polder, and it works about the same. Neither of them are very expensive, and they work pretty well. Because they aren't the super expensive instant read thermometers, they aren't as "instant" as I would like. You have to wait a few moments for them to get up to temperature, but in the end they work great for most things. I highly recommend having an instant read thermometer around, they come in handy every once in a while!

  2. I make French silk pie all the time, but mine has never looked so gorgeous! I will take a cue from you next time :)

  3. How much is 8 tablespoons butter in grams? :)

    1. Ayesha, 8 tablespoons of butter = one stick = 4 oz = about 113 grams

      Hope this helps!

    2. Thank you, one last question. I don't have a thermometer, can I beat the eggs for about 7-10 minutes without purchasing one? :)

    3. I think you'll be fine if you don't go out and buy a thermometer. The point of heating the eggs to 160 is to kill any bacteria that might be in them. I've made mousse and pudding without heating the eggs plenty of times and have never gotten sick. I usually don't get too worried about this sort of thing, as long as I'm planning on eating whatever it is I'm making right away.

      Anyway, regarding this recipe, I think you'll be fine if you just beat the eggs for the 7-10 minutes even without a thermometer. If you get a little nervous about raw eggs, err on the side of 10 minutes rather than 7. Just watch closely to make sure the eggs don't begin to cook and curdle. Hope this helps, good luck!

    4. Thank you so mucch. Love your recipes, trying this pie tonight! :)

    5. I hope it works out for you and that you really enjoy it!