Welcome friends! Come learn to make Chocolate Chess Pie with me!
Chess Pie is as southern as the day is long. A simple plain custard thickened with egg and some flour or cornmeal, flavored with vanilla, lemon or chocolate. It’s Just Pie. Or as we say in the South, “Jes’ Paah” which eventually became “chess pie.”
“It ain’t nuthin’. Jes’ paah.”
This pie is “jes'” one of four “desperation pies” I made for #tbt in January, 2016. Here are the rest.
As you can see, I used a different treatment for every crust. Scroll down a bit, and I’ll show you how I did the treatment for the old fashioned chocolate chess pie. If you like the button crust on the Indiana Sugar Cream Pie (it’s my favorite),
Click Here and I will send you the
Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial
of How to Make the “Button Crust!”
Chocolate Chess Pie
Looking for a Christmas version of this pie? Check out my Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie.
Keep reading to see how I did the treatment for the chocolate chess pie crust. Otherwise,
Chocolate chess pie adds some cocoa powder to the custard to make it chocolatey. But honestly, I’ve not been a super fan of the chocolate chess pies I’ve had before. Even when The Beloved and I went to The Angus Barn, the very well-known and highly regarded steakhouse between Durham and Raleigh, I was underwhelmed by the chocolate chess pie. Even though the Los Angeles Times apparently raved about this pie at one point, it was just too sweet and not chocolatey enough for me. And you know there is nothing worse than getting a chocolate dessert and having it just taste sweet and brown.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to enrich a chocolate chess pie so that it’s as deeply chocolatey as its color implies it will be.
Chocolate chess pie slices like a dream and the texture is sort of “moist brownie.” Fudgy. Delicious.
Here’s how I made the crust design:
After lining the pie pan with the crust, I trimmed it to about a 1/2″ overhang and then folded the excess under to make a double-thickness around the rim (you can see that in the photo of the baked pie). Then I simply cut wee squares of scrap dough and glued them down with egg wash. I did blind bake my crust for about 15 minutes (10 with the weights you see: dried chickpeas and about five without), but that is a totally optional step. I didn’t blind bake for either the cinnamon sorghum custard pie or the shoo fly pie, and you don’t have to either. Blind baking is an option if you want a crisper crust, but it is by no means necessary in pies where the filling also must be baked.
Chocolate chess pie recipes vary from region to region. Some contain milk or evaporated milk. Others use flour and eggs for thickening. Some recipes use a mixture of flour and cornmeal, and while some recipes call for chocolate, most I’ve seen call for cocoa powder. I think the main things to remember are that it needs eggs because it is a simple custard and not to get too fancy with it. After all, it’s Jes’ Paah.