French Silk Chocolate Pie

French Silk Chocolate Pie | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

I have had French silk pie on the brain for ages, but I kept hitting a roadblock on way to making it. Are you ready for this? You will absolutely, positively think I’m insane. For some reason, I had such a hard time getting past the combination of pie crust combined with chocolate. Am I nuts or what?! It seems as though I’ve compartmentalized desserts in my brain, and pie crust was reserved for things like fruit, pumpkin and pecans. Chocolate, on the other hand, was reserved for… everything other than pie crust? Seriously, I know it makes zero sense. However, the only chocolate-based pie I’ve made before (chocolate cream) had an Oreo crust. I just wasn’t sold that chocolate and traditional pie crust were a good combination.

Clearly, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

French Silk Chocolate Pie | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

As it turns out, buttery, flaky pie crust makes an absolutely phenomenal vessel for the velvety smooth chocolate filling. Truth be told, I could have eaten this pie filling with a spoon and just said to heck with filling the pie crust and letting it chill. I did purposefully leave a little leftover in the bowl so I could scrape it up with my finger ;-)

The other issue I had with all of the French silk pie recipes that I saw online was that most of them used raw eggs without any sort of tempering to bring them up to a safe temperature. I balked at this. I’m not one to shun from a few beater licks of raw cookie dough, but I just couldn’t get past completely raw eggs as the end product. I was thrilled when I saw this filling recipe from Cook’s Country that calls for heating the eggs to a safe 160 degrees F as part of the recipe. It helped appease my raw egg neurosis and the final product turned out so silky smooth that I can’t believe it lost anything to its raw counterpart.

French Silk Chocolate Pie | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

I went from eyeing the pie crust/chocolate combination with a skeptical eye, and ended up trying to hoard the entire pie for myself. Lesson learned. Never second-guess anything when it involves pie crust or chocolate. I do believe that the silky texture of this pie is best enjoyed when served at room temperature, so if you have chilled the pie, I would let it sit out for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with crazy food combination issues!

French Silk Chocolate Pie | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

One year ago: Red Velvet Poke Cake
Two years ago: Red Velvet Ice Cream
Three years ago: Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies
Four years ago: Creme Brûlée
Six years ago: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

French Silk Chocolate Pie

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

A recipe for the classic French Silk Pie.

Ingredients:

For the Pie Crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼-inch slices
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 2 pieces
2 tablespoons vodka, chilled
2 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces

Directions:

1. Make the Crust: Process ¾ cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process for 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 a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ 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.

2. 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).

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease the dough into the pie plate. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place, wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Trim the overhang to ½-inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough around the edges. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in the plastic and refrigerate until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Line the chilled pie shell with a double layer of aluminum foil, being sure to cover the edges as well, and fill with pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is pale in color, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely, about 1 hour.

6. Make the Filling: Pour the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.

7. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

8. In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and water. Beat the mixture on medium speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan filled ½-inch of barely simmering water over low heat, and warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture on medium speed until it is light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

9. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the cooled egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Scrape the filling into the pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

(Recipe adapted from Best-Ever Recipes)

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67 Responses to “French Silk Chocolate Pie”

  1. Laura on February 12, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Really? I have been craving a good chocolate pie for a really long time, you just made my day!

    Reply

  2. The Macadame on February 12, 2014 at 1:47 am

    This looks positively indulgent but light and not too rich.
    I think this might just be the perfect dessert to make on Valentines Day!
    The Macadame. xx
    http://www.creamstop.com

    Reply

    • Kelly on February 12th, 2014 at 9:36 am

      FYI, it’s delicious, but it is definitely NOT light. It is absurdly rich. I’ve made this exact recipe before (yay Cooks Country) and everyone ends up only eating a little tiny slice because it’s so rich. But that just makes it last longer 

      Reply

  3. Gry on February 12, 2014 at 2:23 am

    No, you’re not the only one with “crazy” food combination issues. In fact, had I not read your thoughts on the recipe, I would never have even considered the combination of pie and chocolate either. But as always, I trust your tastebuds 100%, so I will probably try this one!
    Thanks for pushing the limits for me;)
    G.

    Reply

  4. Dana on February 12, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I have crazy food combination issues, too. Is there a 12 step program for us? I love chocolate but I’ve never even tasted a chocolate pie (I’m told my mom made outstanding ones), never eaten chocolate pop tarts, only eat warm chocolate pudding if it’s made from scratch and have never eaten chocolate cereal. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t sound good to me but I’ll take your word on the pie and I’ll be making one very soon. My family will love it!

    Reply

  5. Louise W on February 12, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Valentines dessert sorted!! My mouth is wateing just reading this, sod the diet xx

    Reply

  6. Linda Brown on February 12, 2014 at 4:07 am

    This recipe looks divine. Using pasteurized eggs should resolve any raw egg squeamishness.

    Reply

  7. Victoria Bakes on February 12, 2014 at 4:11 am

    this looks absolutely gorgeous! i so want to make it right away

    Reply

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks on February 12, 2014 at 4:26 am

    “buttery, flaky pie crust makes an absolutely phenomenal vessel for the velvety smooth chocolate filling” – amen to that! And I have been wanting to make french silk pie for ages. One of those bucket list recipes…’one day’. Well, you inspire me to get cracking on it and make it! pinned

    Reply

  9. Jennifer on February 12, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I love this pie with a graham cracker crust, but I add a hint of cinnamon to the crust. So yummy!!

    Reply

  10. Orla on February 12, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Oooooooh! This looks great! Why vodka though?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Hi Orla, This is a pretty popular pie crust recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, where they use vodka for half of the liquid in the crust, instead of all ice water. The reason is that the alcohol doesn’t promote gluten formation, so it helps the pie crust remain both flaky and tender.

      Reply

  11. Hari Chandana on February 12, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Looks absolutely tempting.. yummy!

    Reply

  12. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on February 12, 2014 at 6:25 am

    This recipe looks absolutely amazing! Perfect for a romantic dinner for two :) I have never had the chocolate and pie crust issue… but I am with you on the eggs.

    Reply

  13. Zainab on February 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I’m wondering about the vodka too?
    Can this be done without it?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Hi Zainab, Vodka does not promote gluten formation, so using vodka for half of the liquid in the pie crust helps to ensure a totally flaky, yet still tender crust. You can use ice water in its place, but I really, really recommend the vodka. It makes the BEST pie crust. It burns off in the oven.

      Reply

  14. SusieQ on February 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

    I’m trying this for sure. Looks so creamy and delicious. I too have always had an issue with whole raw eggs.

    Reply

  15. jill on February 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I feel the same way about pie crust. I always switch a recipe to graham cracker or oreo unless it’s fruit or pumpkin filling.

    Reply

  16. Nancy Long on February 12, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I’ve been making French Silk pie for almost 30 years and have never had a problem with the eggs, just use really fresh ones; but will try this one to compare. Love a flaky crust!

    Reply

  17. Jessie Berggren on February 12, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I made a similar pie a few weeks back and felt the same way about the crust. My 2yr old turned the page in the cook book and there was a chocolate pastry crust that was amazingly flaky and delicious with the filling! It was in an old “Pillsbury family cook book” that I received from my mother.

    Reply

  18. Taylor @ greens & chocolate on February 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I’ve never made french silk pie either and I’m really not sure why….I need to get on it! This looks like a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!

    Reply

  19. Sharon on February 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I’ve been making Chocolate Pie for ages but this looks perfect for Valentine’s Day! And I love that you put vodka in the pie crust! I use Whipped Cream flavored all the time. :)

    Reply

  20. Alice // Hip Foodie Mom on February 12, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Absolutely delicious!!!

    Reply

  21. Moss on February 12, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Looks amazing! I totally get your aversion. I had long felt the same way until my husband reminded me of a classic example in premade form that changed my thinking: chocolate pop tarts :) Opened-faced chocolate hand pie with extra filling then? Yes please!

    Reply

  22. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction on February 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    That filling looks perfectly light and fluffy!

    Reply

  23. Katrina @ WVS on February 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Oh my!! Loving this pie :)

    Reply

  24. Taylee @ twist me fit on February 12, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Looks absolutely amazing :)

    Reply

  25. Jen of My Tiny Oven on February 12, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Wow, that pie looks crazy good! My sister used to make a pie like this, I had forgotten all about it. I can’t wait to give it a try, YUMMY!!

    Reply

  26. Angie W. on February 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Absolutely love the vodka pie crust recipe. Found one a year or so ago and have never looked back. I am so making this for dinner Friday night. Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner dessert! Simple and yummy!

    Reply

  27. McKenzie on February 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    If the ones listed in the post are your only chocolate pies (except I thought that I’ve seen Derby Pie here before, which has a little chocolate), then you should make a chocolate meringue pie! One of my favorites from my grandmother and childhood!

    Reply

  28. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on February 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    What a dreamy pie, I love the velvety filling!

    Reply

  29. Patricia on February 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, well I definitely know now what I’ll be making for Valentine’s Day dessert! I’ve never used vodka in pie crusts so I’m really curious/excited to try that. Thanks for posting this!

    Reply

  30. Tasha @ ThatsSoYummy on February 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    This looks light and just perfect!

    Reply

  31. Robin Christensen on February 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Glad you came to your senses. But you know, I bet a shortbread crust would be awesome with that, too! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    Reply

  32. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on February 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I completely agree – never second guess something that involves chocolate! This looks amazing!!

    Reply

  33. Margaret Smith on February 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    This looks absoulotly divine. I’m wondering why it says vanilla exract two times in the filling? Why doesn’t it say it two times in the directions?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Margaret, My apologies, that was a typo. I have now corrected it, thanks so much for catching it!

      Reply

  34. Kira - HealthAble old Soul on February 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    This looks like it turned out beautifully!

    Reply

  35. Ala on February 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    My friends have recently converted me to chocolate mousse-texture desserts, which I had always avoided before. I can’t wait to get my fix of this combo–pinned!

    Reply

  36. Emily on February 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Hey Michelle,
    Have you tried using a pretzel crumb crust? There is a baker who sells a chocolate cream pie at the Brooklyn Flea; she breaks thin pretzels and pours homemade dulce de leche over the crust, then puts in strained chocolate cream and whipped cream to top. Just a thought. Thanks again for the wonderful recipes and congrats on 7 years!
    Emily

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 13th, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Hi Emily, I used a pretzel crust for my Take 5 Candy Bar Pie, but haven’t used it for anything else. Such a fabulous idea!

      Reply

  37. The Country Tart on February 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I love your site, have you ever considered using butter, lard or coconut oil in place of shortening? I have such a difficult time getting into recipes when I see that such talented bakers are still using trans-fat laden ingredients such as shortening. Even a tiny bit of the stuff is seriously damaging to the body (the FDA has it on a track to be banned). Please consider using the real stuff for your health and that of your readers!! Your site is a go-to for me and I care that you live a long, healthy life :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      You could certainly replace the shortening with lard if you prefer. Crisco actually doesn’t contain trans-fat anymore, as of about 10 years ago. I do realize that they it still has hydrogenated oils, which are not necessarily super foods. However, shortening is not part of my everyday diet, and I use it sparingly when baking, so if I put ¼ cup of shortening into one pie every few months, of which I might have one or two pieces, I don’t have much of a problem with it.

      Reply

  38. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) on February 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Oh yes, thank you for the super close ups of that velvety chocolate filling! Like you, I’d be very tempted to just spoon the filling directly into my face sans pie crust. :D

    Reply

  39. Carolyn Williams on February 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

    That looks so great, but I think I would add a tablespoon or two of brewed coffee to the filling! The crust looks excellent!

    Reply

  40. Maria on February 13, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Loved the fact eggs are cooked as I also don’t prefer raw eggs . Gorgeous shots and great recipe would surely give a try :)

    Reply

  41. Dina on February 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

    it looks delish!

    Reply

  42. Marissa | Pinch & Swirl on February 13, 2014 at 11:10 am

    It’s 8 o’clock in the morning and now I want pie!

    Reply

  43. Denise on February 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    See what you have been missing all these years with your crazy notion about chocolate and pie crust not going together? Growing up my mom would always let us choose our birthday dinner and guess what I always requested for dessert? You guessed it! Chocolate Pie!

    I love Cook’s Country and your blog – thanks for reminding me of the special birthday treat I enjoyed growing up. Now, I’ll just have to make it for myself on my birthday.

    Reply

  44. Nancy on February 14, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Too funny. I saw the title of your post and thought, “hmmm. Pie crust and chocolate…..not sure about that.” So glad I read your introduction and recipe. I think I can overcome my initial aversion!

    Reply

  45. dervla on February 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    vodka in pie crust?! This is so intriguing I just have to put aside my perfect pie crust recipe for a minute to try this.

    Reply

  46. Bagoo on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    sorry for asking, but can you try to translate in french please, just to help a little our ” gourmande française”, ( the quantity and the MO) please, please,please,,, thank you for answer quickly, i juste want to taste eat, it look so “hum”(great)
    :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 15th, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Bagoo, Unfortunately, I don’t know French, so I am in no way qualified to translate.

      Reply

  47. Diana on February 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

    What can I substitute the vodka with?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 15th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Diana, I really recommend using it – this is a fabulous pie crust! If you really want to leave it out, then just replace it with more ice water.

      Reply

  48. Andrea on February 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I made this for Valentine’s Day, and WOW was it good! Thanks, Michelle!

    Reply

  49. Patricia @popsdemilk on February 16, 2014 at 12:23 am

    First, I want to say thank you again for sharing this recipe. Second, OMG. I made it for Valentine’s Day dessert and my husband and I were in heaven. His face as I poured the chocolate into the pie crust was that of awe and wonder haha. Just typing this is making me want a slice!

    Reply

  50. Tammy on February 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Made this pie for a Valentines party and it was a hit!!Definitely adding it to the repetoire!

    Reply

  51. Mandy on February 16, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Hey Michelle, haven’t you ever had a chocolate filled croissant before? It’s basically the same idea.. Flaky pastry, chocolate deliciousness

    This pie looks really amazing and I plan on making as soon as the right opportunity presents itself. Like you, the idea of a completely raw egg pie always grossed me out, but I do believe this may be a perfect recipe. Can’t wait to try!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 17th, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I actually have not had a chocolate croissant ;-)

      Reply

  52. mimie on February 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    i don’t have heavy cream in my fridge. can i subtitute it with full cream whole milk instead?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Mimie, Unfortunately that won’t work, as milk won’t whip up into whipped cream the way heavy cream will.

      Reply

  53. Mary on February 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Ok so I was wondering that if I were to substitute the bittersweet chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate, what would I add/minus in the recipe

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 21st, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Mary, I don’t think you would need to make any alterations to the rest of the recipe.

      Reply

  54. Yacoub al-Husseini on February 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve made french silk on more than one occasion, but… it has a tendency to set more like a pudding, lacking the silky rich mousse-like texture. What might I be doing wrong?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 24th, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Hi Yacoub, I think it definitely depends on the recipe and how it is prepared. If you’re trying different recipes, that could be the reason. A recipe where whipped cream is folded into the mixture (like this one) creates a lighter, silkier, mousse-like consistency.

      Reply

  55. Alicia Xena on February 26, 2014 at 9:24 am

    this pie looks so delicious i got chills when i saw the photo

    Reply

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