Chocolate Chess Pie

Marilynn and Sheila Brass

Baking with the Brass Sisters

We liked our Lemon Chess Pie recipe so much that we decided to experiment and make it as a Chocolate Chess Pie. We found that this filling puffs up like a high hat because of the addition of the chocolate, while the surface retreats to a lovely fudgy density as the filling condenses.

Excerpted from Baking with the Brass Sisters by Marilynn and Sheila Brass (St. Martin’s Press). Copyright © 2015. 


  • Pie Crust:
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 slices
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled


Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 375° F. 

To make the pie crust: put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse 3 times to mix. Add the sliced butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the ice water and pulse until the mixture just comes together.

Remove the dough from the bowl of the processor, divide in half, and shape each half into a disk. Unless your kitchen is very warm, you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling it out.

Coat a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie plate with vegetable oil spray. Roll out one disk of dough between two sheets of floured wax paper or parchment paper until 2 inches wider than the diameter across the top of the pie plate.

Fold the rolled dough disk in half and then in quarters. Place the folded dough into the bottom quarter of the pie plate. Carefully unfold the dough and let it relax into the pie plate. Trim the excess dough around the rim, leaving enough to form a decorative edge. Flute the edge, or shape as desired. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill the crust while preparing the filling. 

To make the filling: in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, and salt and set aside. Using a whisk, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the butter and whisk it into the eggs. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Whisk in the dry ingredients.

Add a small amount of the pie filling to the melted chocolate and whisk to temper and combine. Add the tempered and slightly cooler chocolate mixture back to the rest of the filling and whisk to combine. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.

Bake the pie for 25 minutes and cover with tented foil if the crust is browning too quickly. Do not allow the foil to touch the filling. Continue baking for another 25 minutes and check to see if the center is still loose. If loose (not wobbly), cover again with foil and bake for another 5 minutes, approximately 55 minutes in all.

Remove the pie from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. The pie will be high but will settle when cool. Place the cooled pie in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Any leftover pie should be loosely wrapped with wax paper and stored in the refrigerator. If the surface of the pie forms small cracks, it can be covered with rosettes or swirls of whipped cream.


one 9-inch pie; 8 to 10 slices