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Jean Webster's French Silk Pie

This smooth, rich dessert comes to us from Amanda Graff, who works in our test kitchen at the television studio. It's an old family recipe.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
Jean Webster's French Silk Pie


For the Crust

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Chocolate curls, for serving


  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate; set aside. Grind pecans in a food processor, or chop very finely with a knife. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, sugar, and salt. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press firmly into prepared pie plate. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  2. Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for five minutes after each addition. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

  3. Just before serving, top pie with whipped cream, and decorate with chocolate curls.

Cook's Note

Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.

Reviews (13)

  • zoltar girl 30 Nov, 2012

    OMG Adrienne, get a life. you are a [filtered word].

  • Adrienne Fuller 25 Sep, 2012

    OMG....This recipe is crazy! I've never seen a recipe that is straight up frosting pie! I think the reason that so many people love this pie is because it's not pie at all - it's frosting in a pie shell...a graham cracker pie shell.

    Let me get this egg for every ounce of chocolate? Yup. A whole cup of sugar? Oh yeah! If you're looking for an alternative to that Duncan Heines can you've been spooning, here it is. Enjoy while you sit in your lazy boy cheering on Jerry Springer

  • Kerry Hansen 31 Aug, 2012

    I'm not an expert cook, but I felt like one after I made this pie. I followed the directions to the letter but got a little impatient beating each egg for 5 minutes. I fudged a little on that, but it still turned out perfectly. I did have some filling left over, too, so you can use a large pie pan. For gluten-free folks, I replaced the flour with the same amount of Arrowhead Mills all-purpose GF flour, and not a single gluten-eater could tell the difference.

  • barbmich 23 Dec, 2011

    This is, by far, the best tasting pie I've ever made. The filling is like biting into chocolate heaven, and I'm a chocolate devotee. I love the taste of the crust, but must be doing something wrong, because I could NOT get it out of the pie plate without absolutely destroying the pieces of pie. Still delicious, but I could use some help with how to be able to cut and serve pieces of PIE, not French Silk filling with crumb topping. HELP!!!!

  • nikiblaker 2 Nov, 2011

    Just used this recipe a couple days ago and it turned out FANTASTIC. I should also note I am a complete novice and it was the first pie, first ANYTHING from scratch I ever made. The crust was so tasty and the consistency of everything was perfect. It tasted even better the second day after chilling overnight.

  • emc971 18 Sep, 2011

    this pie is AMAZING! my boyfriend is a huge French silk pie fan and he says this is the best one he's ever ate. I added a little more vanilla but its awesome!

  • thelettermroxs 26 Dec, 2010

    Holy crapp! This was good! I rate it a 5/5! Martha Stewart Food Network are the only people I trust dealing with sweets. Thanks Martha, you made a delicious and divine course! 5/5 PEOPLE!!!!

  • LuverOfAllah 26 Dec, 2010

    I didn't try this recipe yet, but my cousin and I were going to bake, and I am going to recommend this.. hope we try it(=

  • JeninIA 23 Nov, 2010

    I had never had or made a French Silk pie before I tried this one. I have tried a few since I first made this one and none of them come close! I have been making it every Thanksgiving and a few other times a year for over 6 years now. Great creamy texture, LOVE the crust with the brown sugar and pecans...also makes for a lovely and impressive presentation with the whipped topping and chocolate curls. Also can be made ahead of time and that's nice. I usually make it the day before!

  • HannahKaley 2 Jun, 2009

    Fantastic! I added and extra egg to dense it up. Chocolate heaven...super fun to do a lovely presentation on top.

  • soccerbaker18 1 May, 2009

    This is the best french silk pie ever! It is very smooth and everyone always asks for it again. It's very important to whip it the stated time. I make a standard pastry pie crust and whip my own whip cream. Delicious!

  • ManhattanMiss 28 Nov, 2008

    Great recipe. Very light and silky - secret is to beat the full time and chill sufficiently. I made espresso whipped cream for the topping. It was a hit!

  • chefbb317 23 Feb, 2008

    I tryed this recipe and it was very easy. It was a little runny though and I found my self eat egg yolks. but my geusts did enjoy it a lot and were impressed seeing that it came out just like the picture.

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