Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chocolate Chess Pie

Good Morning and welcome to Potluck Sunday. Chess pies have long been associated with the South. And you know how I love a good old southern dessert. Really any excuse for chocolate is perfectly fine with me. My all time favorite pie is my Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie, but Chocolate Chess Pie is another great pie recipe.

The custard-style ļ¬lling has the consistency of soft, rich, velvety fudge that's not too sweet and not to heavy. And who doesn't like chocolate fudge. I understand if chocolate ain't your thing then you can just make another variety. There is lemon, vanilla and brown sugar.

Everyone always wonders where chess pies received their name? Well the old saying is the word “chess” evolved over years, possibly from the word “jess’, as in “just pie.” The old wives tale is " A husband asked his wife what she was baking that smelled so good, and the southern cook replied, “Oh it's Jess’ pie.” 

Who really knows where the name chess pie came from all I know is chess pie is a wonderful treat.Since chess pie is best served when it has completely cooled down. This pie can be prepared early in the day which gives it plenty time to cool. 

 Chess Pie makes for the perfect pie to take to dinner at a friends house, a church potluck or a family get together. My favorite part is the crispy wrinkly topping. It reminds me of the top of a good ole brownie. This is the perfect dessert when you want just a little something sweet after dinner. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

These are the ingredients you will need: one prepared pie crust, 2 eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, evaporated milk, unsweetened cocoa and butter (softened).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and cocoa together.

Using a electric mixer beat the eggs then add the cocoa mixture. Beat in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Make sure it is mixed together really good. I stared off using a hand mixer then finished it off using a wire whisk.

The mixture will be rich and shiny. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell. I read somewhere that is best to use a metal pie plate instead of a glass plate. Metal cooks the crust more evenly. I just purchase the frozen pie shells in the metal pans.

Bake for 45 minutes or until set. (I recommend covering the pie's edges with foil or a pie guard after the first 20 minutes, or when edges attain a good brown color... so they don't burn.) The center will still be a bit shaky when the pie is taken from the oven. Do Not Over bake.

Let cool completely before serving. ( a must here)

Chocolate Chess Pie

1 - 1 1/4 - cups sugar (your preference)

3 - tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 - eggs
1 - (5 oz.) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1/4 - cup melted butter, softened (1/2 stick)
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - refrigerated pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and cocoa together. If you dont want it real sweet us one cup sugar.

Using a electric mixer beat the eggs then add the cocoa mixture.

Beat in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 45 minutes or until set.

I recommend covering the pie's edges with foil or a pie guard after the first 20 minutes, or when edges attain a good brown color... so they don't burn.

The center will still be a bit shaky when the pie is taken from the oven. Do Not Over bake and let cool completely before serving. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Cook's Note: This pie is best if you let it sit and cool... I know that can be sometimes hard, but it will be runny if you don't. The final consistency should be like a pecan pie after you let cool completely. 

The pie filling will also puff up in the oven and settles back down upon cooling. I was reading original chess pie recipes have the addition of one tablespoon of cornmeal. I might add that next time to compare and see what version I like best.

Recipe adapted from all


  1. That pie looks divine! I love anything chocolate, especially pie!
    Thanks so much for hosting!

  2. I might have a very difficult time letting the pie cool before I shove it all in my pie hole!!!!

  3. This looks so yummy! I need to try it soon!

  4. I know Leslie it is so hard to wait. But ya have to girl!!

  5. Oh Geez!!! That looks awesome! I will have to try this one.

  6. Mmmmm. That looks so yummy! I'll definitely have to try it.

  7. I love how you have given the explaination for what "Chess" pie really means - I've always wondered why! - and boy does it make sense. =)

    LOVE the recipe too....just printed it off for a dessert to make this coming week.

    ~avril@ http//

  8. Oooh that chess pie looks great!

  9. This sounds so good...I can't believe I've never had it!

  10. Oh yummy, Tina, that looks so good this morning! :)

  11. Oh my heaven...I would love a slice of that!!

  12. Made this for dessert today. It was so yummy, and couldn't be easier to make. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. My friend, Sue, from urbanlittlehouse sent me a piece of your Chocolate Chess Pie for my birthday along with a link to your here I am. Mommy's Kitchen is in my favorites now and I'll be back.


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  15. I live in East Texas in the heart Oil/Gas production. This looks like what they call "Sludge Pit" Pie around here. They serve it in all the tea rooms and bakeries make a fortune on it here! I can't wait to try this recipe and see if it's the same!

  16. what is the best way to store the pie? i'm going to make it before thanksgiving and wondering if i should keep it at room temp or refrigerate it

  17. Fruit pies are good at room temperature for 24 hours then you will need to refrigerate. Custard and cream pies are served at room temperature then stored in the refrigerator. Here is a link on information for pie storage.

  18. I made the Chess Pie today and all I can say is OMG!! It was the best!! I used the 1 tablespoon of cornmeal. Not sure what it does the pie as I've never had Chess Pie before. This pie will not last long :) A definite keeper!!

  19. Can't wait to try this recipe. Making it TODAY. I have had chocolate chess pie all of my life and I, too, heard the "jest pie" explanation for its name.

  20. I have tried this chocolate chess pie recipe three times now, and it gets better and better each time I eat it. I am a college student, and I rarely get the chance to eat a home cooked meal. This pie brings back so many memories from back home. I absolutely love it...

  21. Coming from a born and bred southern belle, this recipe is on the money! Chess pies in my neck of the woods are a staple at all get togethers. This recipe is perfect in every grandmother said it was better than hers! She ought to know, since she can make a chess pie in her sleep! Thanks for the great site is fabulous!

  22. My Dad was a Northerner thru and thru but when I got his personal recipes after he died there were several versions of CHESS PIE tucked in there! I have tried them and LOVE them.

    One of the recipes had the possible explanation that the name started out as CHEST PIE--as in a wire netting covered chest (to keep the flies and chickens out!) that the pie would be cooled and stored in. I have never refrigerated a chess pie and have never had one go "bad" either!!!

    Great site have bookmarked several recipes already!

  23. I grew up the the great state of North 'by God' Carolina and know chess pies well, but I had never attempted making one myself. When I ran across your recipe it sounded delightful so I had to try it.
    The recipe was easy to follow and most folks would already have the ingredients in their homes. The only thing I did different was make a homemade pie crust.
    I would like to point out that I no longer live in NC and have moved to the high rockies, and at 10,000 ft above sea level, cooking, especially baking, is quite different. After the 30 minute timer went off the top looked done and it 'jiggled' but when cut into it was the texture of chocolate pudding. I had to cook it an extra 20 minutes. That is common up here but wanted to let readers know that if you live at high altitude, do the 30 minutes, then take a poke to see if it is actually done.
    Love the site, love the recipe, and will be trying many more!

  24. Made this earlier finally got to eat wow what a delicious recepie

  25. Thanks for posting went and made this earlier today finally got to eat some very delicious

  26. I'm from TN n make all types of chess pies this 1 is great if u don't like chocolate or really sweet things try a buttermilk chess pie i have friends ask me 2 make some 4 them. Thanks 4 this it's the easiest 1 I've come across n is yummy!!!

  27. The last time I made the chess pie I put a meringue topping on it!!!! Delicious, I added just the egg yolks and used the whites for the meringue. I increased the eggs by 1.

  28. This has been my go too chocolate pie recipe for the last 3 years. I pop all the ingredients (except the crust) in the blender, pour in and go. Also excelent using dark chocolate cocoa powder. Also perfect to separate into 3 mini pies...cut into 4 slices & its perfect for hand eating slices. My family (& me) loves it!


Hi Friends!

While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I do try to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post or recipe. Some comments are moderated, and may not appear immediately. As long as you are respectful and courteous, your comment will be approved. Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.