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A Gaines Family Tradition

by Joanna Gaines
Published on February 21, 2020

We celebrate Valentine’s Day a little differently around our house. Rather than Chip and I going out for dinner, we’ve made it a tradition to stay home with the kids and get all dressed up for a fancy meal.

The kids are in charge of planning the menu, and they don’t take that job lightly (we ended up with 9 different dishes). And I of course, don’t take dessert lightly, so I added in a second dessert last minute. The first run of the new cookbook was mailed to the office on Valentine’s Day, so we celebrated with my favorite dessert from the book.

It was an all hands on deck kind of night. We were racing the clock to have everything on the table at a reasonable hour—Chip grilled the steaks, Ella was on babysitting duty, and Drake took it upon himself to document all of the chaos in between (or to expose how messy I am in the kitchen).

I can’t wait for you to see my new cookbook! Here’s the recipe for the French Silk Pie, just to get you started—enjoy!

French Silk Pie

from Magnolia Table, Volume 2Opens in new tab

I am a firm believer that the more chocolate the better, so I opted for a chocolate cookie crust for our dessert (you can find this variation in the recipe below).

prep: 20 minutes, plus at least 4 hours chilling
cook: 10 minutes
cool: 20 minutes (for the chocolate cookie crust)


+ ⅔ cup granulated sugar
+ 2 large eggs
+ 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
+ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
+ ⅓ cup (⅔ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
+ ⅔ cup heavy cream
+ ¼ cup powdered sugar
+ 1 prebaked 9-inch pie crust or tart shell (as shown) or Chocolate Cookie Crust (see below)
+ Whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate (optional), for garnish


1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for approximately 5 minutes.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3. In another large bowl, beat the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed, then gradually return to medium-high until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

4. Pour into the prebaked pie crust or tart shell. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

5. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired.

6. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

chocolate cookie crust (optional)


+ 5 ounces chocolate wafers
+ ¼ cup sugar
+ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

chocolate cookie crust


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pulse the wafers on low in a food processor until they are the consistency of sand. Add the sugar and melted butter and mix well.

3. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake 8 minutes.

4. Let cool 20 minutes before filling.

Makes one 9-inch pie or tart