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What is a French Silk Pie?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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French silk pie is a very creamy, chocolaty pie which is traditionally served chilled or at room temperature. This pie is a popular offering at pie shops, especially in the American South, but it is extremely easy to make at home, and it tends to be a hit at parties, thanks to the intensely rich flavor. French silk pie can also be modified with a wide variety of ingredients, for cooks who like to play around with flavors.

The recipe appears to come from somewhere in the South, with several bakeries and restaurants laying claim to the credit for the invention of this pie. Wherever it comes from, French silk pie is classically served with a topping of whipped cream, which enhances the creamy flavor, and it can be kept under refrigeration for up to five days after it is made without suffering a decline in flavor.

This pie is typically made with a graham cracker crust, although other pastries could be used, and the filling is extremely simple. Three quarters of a cup of butter is creamed with a cup of sugar before four ounces of melted and cooled unsweetened baking chocolate are stirred in, followed by two teaspoons of vanilla and four large eggs. After the filling has been blended, it is poured into the graham cracker crust and the pie is chilled until the filling sets.

Once the filling has set, the pie can be topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and some cooks like to add slivered nuts, as well. Nuts may also be added to the filling, and orange or almond extract can be used instead of vanilla to give the French silk pie an unexpected flavor twist. Orange or lemon zest can also be sprinkled on top of the pie, for those who are feeling adventurous.

You may also hear this pie referred to as “chocolate silk pie” or just “silk pie.” It tastes best when served at room temperature or slightly below, and it can be especially enjoyable in hot weather, as the creamy filling has a natural cool taste which can be quite soothing.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By amypollick — On Jul 09, 2011

@anon194903: One thing you might think about doing is dissolving about a teaspoon of instant coffee (or espresso powder, if you have it) in a little warm water, and adding that to your mixture. It doesn't give a coffee flavor, but it *really* emphasizes the chocolate. You might also consider using a little bittersweet chocolate instead of all milk chocolate. I prefer a less sweet taste myself. I'm a dark/bittersweet chocolate fan. I like the 60 percent cacao dark chocolate.

By anon194903 — On Jul 09, 2011

I just made a very similar recipe of this (which was way too sweet for my taste), so I may try this one exactly. It uses more chocolate than the one I tried.

This pie can easily become way too sweet. I was trying to relieve my Baker's Square F Silk Pie addiction - came close - but not yet.

Meanwhile, even though I'm not terribly scared of raw eggs in some dishes, I decided to err with caution this time and bought pasteurized eggs (boxed like a milk carton), containing eight whole eggs, shell free. Worked great!

By MissMuffet — On May 23, 2011

I was at a wedding recently where the traditional cake was replaced with the best chocolate French silk pie I've ever eaten. It was huge and I'm pretty sure it was made how it's described here.

There were also a few other delicious desserts, such as caramel apple pie and coconut custard pie, for the strange few who don't like chocolate!

It was a really novel idea and a refreshing change from the usual tiered cake with white icing.

By yumdelish — On May 20, 2011

@angelBraids - Congratulations, you have the best excuse to indulge right now.

The good news is that there are lots of easy French silk pie recipes out there which substitute the egg for something else, have you cook up the ingredients or omit eggs altogether.

Personally I like to play around with ingredients, and I've made mocha chocolate pudding pie by adding coffee, and a peanut butter version too.

By angelBraids — On May 19, 2011

My friend just offered me a slice of wonderful looking homemade French silk pie, but I had to decline as I am pregnant.

The pumpkin pie I had instead was delicious but when you're in the mood for chocolate there really is nothing else that will do.

Is it possible to make this without raw eggs?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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