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This French silk pie recipe deviates from tradition for a lighter version. Butter and sugar are traded for dates and canola oil in the crust, while the chocolate filling has less egg and butter and is thickened with gelatin. The tasty secret is a shot of coffee that enhances the pie's chocolate flavor without giving it a detectable coffee flavor.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2008; October 2020 30th Anniversary


Recipe Summary

4 hrs 15 mins
30 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.

  • To prepare crust: Combine chocolate wafers and dates in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add water and oil and process until moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.

  • Bake until the crust is crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • To prepare filling: Combine coffee and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin on top.

  • Whisk egg, milk, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan until smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Add chocolate and vanilla, stirring until melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 5 tablespoons brown sugar, beating until the meringue is smooth and glossy.

  • Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the remaining meringue and fold in with a whisk. Spoon the filling into the crust and chill until set, about 3 hours.

  • Just before serving, beat cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Spread fresh whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Equipment: 9-inch deep-dish pie pan

Tip: Many commercial cookies and wafers contain partially hydrogenated oil, a source of trans-fatty acids. Look for brands made without these oils, such as Newman's Own Organics and Mi-Del, which fortunately are every bit as tasty. Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets.

Ingredient Note: Dried egg whites are pasteurized--a wise choice when making meringue toppings that may not reach 160°F (the temperature at which eggs are considered "safe"). You'll find them in the baking or natural-foods section of most supermarkets. Reconstitute according to package directions.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece
261 calories; protein 5g; carbohydrates 31g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 21g; fat 15g; saturated fat 7g; cholesterol 47mg; vitamin a iu 51.1IU; folate 4.5mcg; calcium 32mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 18.1mg; potassium 160mg; sodium 95mg; added sugar 12g.