Chocolate Chess Pie - biscuits and such
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Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie was my grandmother Bobbie’s signature fall and winter pie.  It made appearances on every holiday table and was the one pie that made it onto everyone’s dessert plate, along with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Chess pie is a very southern concoction, the basic chess is sugar, eggs, and butter, with different additions changing the pie.  Chess pies can range from tart lemon chess to rich and heavenly chocolate.  Can you tell which one is my preference?

I’ve written about Tar Heel Pie before, a chocolate chess pie with pecans in it.  Apparently Tar Heel Pie is a product of a North Carolina marketing push in the 1980s, a way to assign a signature pie to the Tar Heel state.  And as much as I love that pecany addition, there is something to be said about the basic, original pie.  Rich. Dreamy. Wonderful.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Pie Dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup ice water


1 cup chocolate chips

1 stick melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ginger

Start with your pie dough.  Sift dry ingredients.  Using your hands, work in shortening.  Cube butter and work it in.  Continue to blend until the consistency is that of course cornmeal.  Stir in the water, a little at a time until your dough forms a ball.  Divide in half.  Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Pour hot butter over chocolate chips and stir until fully incorporated.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to chocolate.

Remove half of the dough from the fridge.  Roll it out on a floured, non-stick surface (like a sil-pat).  Roll it out so it is 1 foot x 1 foot wide and 1/4″ thick.  Drape the crust over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie dish.  Press into the pie dish.  Scoop filling into the pie dish.

Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes.

Let cool completely.  Whip together cream, sugar, vanilla, and ginger.  Serve pie topped with whipped cream.

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  • Rachel

    13.02.2011 at 07:14 Reply

    Yum, this looks divine! I’ve always known chess pie to be a lemony custard with a touch of cornmeal. I definitely must try this. I love your blog, by the way. I just started a blog on Southern food last month (in fact I have an entry about buttermilk/egg custard pie — a cousin to the chess pie). I’m a big fan of pies and can’t wait to see what you bake up next!

    • elena

      13.02.2011 at 07:55 Reply

      Thanks Rachel! I’m loving National Pie Month!

  • A Chess Pie Love Story | The Menuism Blog

    28.02.2011 at 05:03 Reply

    […] Editor’s Note: Can’t stop drooling over that lovely chocolate chess pie? You’re in luck. Take a gander at Elena’s family recipe here. […]

  • Lemma

    27.12.2012 at 14:28 Reply

    I decided to make your grandmother’s famous pie for Christmas dinner this year! :) My family went crazy over it! I only got a tiny taste because it was very popular! It was absolutely delicious!

    • elena

      27.12.2012 at 19:11 Reply

      I am so glad it turned out well! My whole family loves that pie!

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