This buttery, chocolate chess pie tastes like a crackle topped gooey brownie that’s baked into a crunchy pie shell! An utterly unique texture, this is the kind of pie that needs to be tasted to be believed!
Chocolate Chess Pie
Chess pie is one of those slightly confusing recipes whose name doesn’t really make sense, yet people love it anyway.
The original Chess pie was a hodgepodge mix of cornmeal, sugar, eggs, and a little bit of vinegar to create a thick, almost custard-like texture that is tangy and satisfying as a dessert. It is also super economical and was one of the most popular desserts in the American South.
Chocolate Chess pie, however, is something entirely different. Though made with similar ingredients and still keeping the general process of just mixing it all together and baking it, chocolate Chess pie is all about rich, decadent chocolate that is ooey, gooey, and almost like a fudgy brownie.
Chocolate Chess Pie Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Pie crust, blind baked
• Salted butter
• White sugar
• Brown sugar
• Unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
• Cocoa powder
• Vanilla extract
• Heavy cream
How To Make Chocolate Chess Pie
• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, cream, cornstarch, and vanilla
• Gradually whisk in the melted butter
• Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust
• Cover the pie crust edge to edge with foil to prevent it from over-browning
• Bake until the center no longer jiggles, about 35 minutes
• Remove the oven and remove from the foil
• Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours until fully chilled
How Do You Get That Really Crackly Crust on Top?
The secret element to this Chocolate Chess pie is the super crackly, paper-thin crust on top that is exactly like a really wonderfully cooked brownie. But how do you actually get this crust?
The two secret ingredients to getting a great brownie crust are to watch your oven’s temperature and to keep the ratio of white sugar to other sweeteners the same.
That thin, paper-like crust happens because of the sucrose in the pie mixture heating and melting into the pie at different rates because of the time it takes for the heat to penetrate into the interior of the crust.
The outer parts of the pie dry out first, and the pressure made from the filling heating uplifts it off, turning it into a little crystallized layer of pure deliciousness.
To keep that tasty layer, make sure to not use any other kind of sugar in place of sucrose – while substituting honey might seem like a tasty idea, if you do that, you will end up losing that crust due to the higher fructose content of honey.
What Kind of Chocolate Should You Use in Your Chocolate Chess Pie?
This recipe calls for using some unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder to provide the chocolatey element of this pie.
You might be tempted to substitute it for some other types of chocolate, such as dark chocolate or even some white chocolate.
While experimenting with recipes can be really fun, you should definitely stick to the unsweetened chocolate here. The melted and cooled chocolate not only provides that chocolatey taste but also gives it that little bit of extra richness and fat from the cocoa butter within the chocolate.
Furthermore, make sure you are using some really high-quality cocoa powder here. The cocoa powder is the main ingredient that gives it that rich hit of chocolate flavor, as well as really darkening the color, not to mention helping to improve the texture.
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Enjoy and let me know what you think!
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Chocolate Chess Pie
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 35 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- one 9 inch pie crust blind baked
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- Preheat your oven to 325 °F. Set your blind baked pie crust to the side.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, cream, cornstarch and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the melted butter.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Cover the pie crust edge with foil to prevent it from overbrowning.
- Bake until the center is no longer jiggle and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, around 35-40 minutes. Do not underbake!
- Remove from the oven and take off the foil. Cool on a wire rack then cover and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours until fully chilled.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.