So you’re looking for a delicious dessert to serve your guests, or a pie to bring to a holiday meal, or maybe you’re just in the mood for something sweet and decadent.
If you ask Anita Crofts, author of Meet Me at the Bamboo Table: Everyday Meals Everywhere, pie is always an excellent choice.
And your options are almost endless, from harvest favorites like sweet potato and pumpkin to fresh fruit fillings like cherry, blueberry, or apple and pear.
But maybe you’re not feeling like fruit today, and you’re all squashed out.
Enter the French Silk Chocolate Pie.
French Silk is a mousse-filled delight, perfect at any time of year. It’s not totally clear why chocolate silk and even certain coconut pies have the word French in their names, but they seem to always be filled with some sort of mousse or custard.
Somewhat confusingly, as far as we can tell, they find their origins in the US rather than Europe.
This seems like one of those cases where “French” was added to substitute for “fancy.” Or maybe the original baker who named this scrumptious dessert had actual French silk in mind, since the smooth, rich filling evokes the light, airy, satiny feel of a luxury fabric.
Well, sort of. If fabric doesn’t make your mouth water, then feel free to set that analogy aside!
Anita says, “This recipe was known by my mother, Betsy Crofts, and grandmother, Anne Maxfield, as neighbor Charlotte Dobrasin’s Chocolate Silk Pie. My grandmother perfected the pie, and it became a family favorite, served to this day on special occasions.”
If baking is a tradition in your home, we highly recommend this recipe! Don’t be surprised if the requests start rolling in to bring it with you to every holiday dinner or potluck.
|8 slices||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|30 minutes||150 minutes|
If you're a pie lover, you've got to try this recipe for French Silk Chocolate Pie from Anita Crofts, author of Meet Me at the Bamboo Table. Get the recipe.
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 16 ounces whipping cream
- Sugar to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Blind bake the crust for 12 minutes, then set out on a wire rack to cool.
- Cut the butter into cubes. To make the filling, place the butter in a large mixing bowl, and use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or electric beaters to start to whip it. Gradually add the sugar, creaming the two ingredients together well. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
- Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Allow it to cool at room temperature, or place in an ice bath, being careful not to allow the water to come up over the sides of the bowl. Stir occasionally. The chocolate should be cool to the touch, but still stirrable.
- Combine the cooled chocolate with the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Beat for five minutes between additions, for a total of 15 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if you need to.
- Turn the filling into pie shell. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks are formed, with sugar added to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve slices of pie with whipped cream on the side.
Recipe by Anne Maxfield, provided by A.V. Crofts
Helpful Tips and Making It Your Own
Though you could use a pre-made pie shell to speed up the process, we recommend our recipe for a buttery, flaky pate brisee crust. The prospect of making a pie dough from scratch may be a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be – along with the recipe, in this post Kendall Vanderslice provides helpful advice, an explanation of what exactly is going on in that dough that you’re forming, blind baking tips, and more.
We think this tried and true recipe is wonderful as is – but there’s something to be said for special family variations. Regardless of the recipe that you follow, every pie is unique, stamped with the mark and imbued with the love of its maker.
After you’ve tried this recipe a few times, feel free to experiment a little to make it your own. Maybe you’re more of a milk chocolate fan, or chocolate and peppermint is your favorite holiday combo.
Or maybe you’re thinking graham cracker crust, peanut butter whipped cream, and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts to top it all off. The sky’s the limit!
It’s important to note that although the crust is baked, the eggs added to the fluffy mousse are not cooked. If this is a concern, try using in-shell pasteurized eggs. And be sure to use eggs that are cold, to help that silky-smooth mousse to come together.
Though it won’t be exactly the same, you could also swap out this filling with a cooked chocolate or vanilla pudding, or even a vegan avocado pudding flavored with cocoa.
To learn more about Meet Me at the Bamboo Table, check out Episode 2 of the Foodal Podcast.
Are you an avid pie baker? What are your family favorites? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to check out all of Foodal’s best pie recipes!
Photo credit: Anita Crofts. Used with permission.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Allison Sidhu
Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.
2 thoughts on “A Family Favorite: French Silk Chocolate Pie”
I am a Korean woman. Your cooking is excellent.
And I’m sorry, I’ve got a little of difficulty in leaving
this comment. So I left my personal email, so please check and reply.
My favorite pie, I love to make French silk pie, and a birthday wish is to make for me – some day to make it for a career.