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Amanda’s French Silk Pie

by on October 11, 2009 · 18 comments

Some sources say French Silk Pie was was invented by a restaurant in California, but others believe it to be from the south. Pie shops and diners have claimed it as their own, with Bakers Square being the most sought after, while home cooks have found French Silk quite easy to put together at home. With its deceptively light mousse-like texture, it’s impressive, yet so simple it can be made as an afterthought — a pie for the chocolate lovers in the crowd. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

I’ve made three French Silk Pies in the past few months. A pie from Cooks Country, which was more complicated than most recipes and which required a candy thermometer; a pie from Martha Stewart, closer to the traditional recipe and requiring only eggs, butter, chocolate, sugar, and vanilla; and this pie.

This recipe came from Amanda who got it from a cook named Jamie who got it from her financial advisor. I also recognized the recipe as one Baking Bites had posted and credited to The Pillsbury Bake-Off 1951. But you won’t find that version on Pillsbury’s website, because they’ve updated it over the years to the point where it’s not even the same pie. Here’s a photo of the original version from an old Bake-off book. The person who owned this book before I did thought the pie was too rich. Maybe other people did too, because the pie from Jamie’s finanical advisor and the one Nicole posted has half the chocolate as the original.

old pie recipe

With rave reviews from Amanda, Nicole, and Jamie, I wasn’t too worried. And the pie turned out well, though it was a little on the sweet side. Todd loved it, though I could have done a better job on the crust.

One final note about the raw eggs. If you are worried about using raw eggs, use pasteurized eggs. They’re pretty easy to find these days.

french silk pie

Amanda’s French Silk Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Amanda’s French Silk Pie
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks regular salted butter (8 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (pasteurized eggs are an option)
  • Whipped cream or whipped topping
Instructions
  1. Have ready a fully baked pie crust.
  2. Beat sugar and butter for 10 to 15 minutes using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. The goal is to make it less grainy. Even after 15 minutes, mine was still slightly grainy, but it smoothed out after adding the eggs.
  3. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla, then add two of the eggs and beat for another 5 minutes. Add two more eggs and beat for 5 minutes. Pour into cooled pie crust. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Before serving, top with whipped cream and a little grated chocolate.

 

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Published on October 11, 2009

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda October 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

Wow Anna you really did your homework on this recipe! I had no idea it had such a history. I just remember it from Poppin’ Fresh (now Baker’s Square) when I was a kid, and from the blog I found it on. I had no idea about all the other stuff :)

I’m glad your hubby liked it. it’s definitely my favorite pie in the whole world. I found that after it say overnight in the fridge it was even better! Thanks for including me!

Gloria October 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

I am so glad you tried this recipe! It brings back memories of my search for the perfect French Silk Pie from the Lincoln Delicatessen that closed its doors almost 10 years ago in Minnesota. I contacted the grandchildren of the original owners a few years back and they were not willing to give up their recipe. Their pie had a texture unlike pudding, which I can’t describe, with a strong chocolate bite and I have not been able to duplicate it. I tried the recipe you describe above only I add 1/2 cup less sugar and an extra square or two of chocolate. It comes close. For fun once I added 1 cup of plain malt powder before adding the eggs for a chocolate malt French Silk Pie….After I bake Lemon today it might be chocolate pie time…..so many of your posts to try, so little time!

Anna October 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

Amanda, thanks for the recipe. It was a good one!

Gloria, thanks for sharing those proportions. It sounds like the proportions you use are almost the same as Betty Crocker’s. Their recipe uses 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup butter, 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate and only 3 eggs. Do you happen to remember how much butter and how many eggs you use?

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.aspx/french-silk-pie

CindyD October 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm

This looks good – I love anything chocolate! But my husband won’t eating anything that includes raw eggs.

Gloria October 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm

The first time I made it I followed the recipe you have above except I used 5 oz of chocolate and less sugar….I think once I only used 3 eggs…and once I used 4 T unsweetened cocoa powder to replace the melted chocolate….but I didn’t keep good track of my experiments so I don’t remember all of the exact outcomes. I know the malt powder went over well with malt lovers and the cocoa powder was easier, but produced a different texture..
I’m now done with zesting the lemons for Lemon Loaf…sure makes your fingers smell good!!!

sherri October 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm

The raw eggs scare me- but this looks great!

Katrina October 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm

This is a favorite of our family friend, Bob. Maybe I’ll make this for his birthday (in Feb.) I’m afraid of French Silk pie, but only because I know what’s in it and although I eat my share of goodies, I choose to “live without” this pie. More because I know I’d love it. I think it’s pretty cool that these few ingredients, whipped to a pulp turn in to something so amazing!
Great homework once again, Anna of Pie Madness. ;)

Memoria October 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm

I’m not afraid of eating raw eggs. I’m sure we’ve eaten much worse without even knowing it. Anyway, this pie looks great!!

Amanda October 12, 2009 at 6:27 am

If you are worried about raw eggs, look for the pasteurized ones :)

Louise October 12, 2009 at 9:06 am

How would the crust you made recently for the apple pie be with this French Silk Pie? I haven’t made French Silk Pie in years. It used to be a regular thing when we were newlyweds. That was back before the raw egg scare and my cooking ability was limited.

Dolce October 12, 2009 at 9:46 am

I don’t know if this is from California or from the South, but it’s definitely not French ;)

Valerie October 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Oh, boy, that looks good. It would be perfect for an afternoon snack today!

ashley h November 19, 2009 at 2:18 am

this is my favorite pie recipe. i make it alll the time

ashley h December 17, 2009 at 5:15 am

This is my very favorite pie recipe. I make this a lot for no reason other than to just eat it all on my own. Its so rich and creamy. hard to explain, u just have to try it. i have a picture of this pie on my blog but its not as good of a picture as this one but i it was just a bad cell phone photo

Anna Ellis December 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I tried this recipe out for Christmas and it turned out great. It was very rich and creamy… Good Enough, that I made it for New Years Eve as well, however this time, I used Bakers Sugar instead of the granulated sugar… It really helped the first step, when you are creaming the butter and sugar together, go much smoother and quicker, since the granules are so much smaller to start with… I haven’t tried the end product yet, so we will see how it tastes, but it seemed to go together with the same consistency as it had the first time. Thanks for sharing your research :)

Kay Getz October 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I also have concerns about eating raw eggs so I believe I will try this recipe and alter it by making a ‘chocolate curd’ (like making ‘lemon curd’ for a more creamy/velvety and lemony flavor by tempering the eggs slightly to cook them ever so gently but with a bold flavor coming through the recipe whether it be lemon or chocolate). I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I love dabbling with recipes, adding my personal touch to them, improving them, making them simpler so you’d never know they didn’t take all day, etc..
HINT: I always bring a printed recipe name card – to put by my dish and a recipe sheet (for people who want the recipe) when bringing pot luck dishes now. Saves time emailing or forgetting.

Anna October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Kay, look for Safe Eggs. They’re pasteurized real eggs :).

Kay Getz October 12, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Anna,
Thanks for info on Pasteurized eggs.
Found this info & references about eggs at this site for anyone interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteurized_eggs

Note: Look at: “Shell egg pasteurization process” paragraph. After pasteurization, eggs are waxed and stamped with red “P” in circle.

A Brand name: Davidson’s Safest Choice

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