Chocolate Chess pie is now known as a southern pie, but just where did the name come from? The origin is rather unclear; some attribute the name to its ancestor, the cheese tart, while others believe it was named for Chester County, or for the pie chest that is was kept in.
James Beard’s American Cookery (1972) tells that chess pie was brought from England originally and was found in New England as well as Virginia. A recipe similar to chess pie appears in Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery, from the mid-18th century.
Regardless, this pie can be bought in Texas today and several of the southern states. The smell is amazing as it cooks. This is another bar- bones ingredient list pie. The taste and texture remind me of a gooey brownie with a crispy crust on the top. With taste this wonderful and ease of ingredients, this is a pie to surprise your family any day.
It takes your mind back to your grandmother’s house with the old-fashioned fridge, hardwood floors and vintage half-aprons. This pie is delicious, even decadent and divine. One that you will want to add to your recipe toolbox.
Pie Hint: This pie needs to have the cocoa and sugar mixed well. I have found that an old-fashioned potato masher gets all the lumps out of the cocoa and blends the sugar.
Chocolate Chess Pie
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a dark cocoa powder, but it is your preference)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like Watkins)
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 (9-inch) uncooked pie crust (store bought or homemade)
- Whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, blend cocoa powder and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, salt, and butter. Mix well and pour into prepared pie crust.
- Bake about 40 minutes. There will still be a little jiggle in the middle when you shake it.
- Cool completely before slicing. I like to chill it in the refrigerator before serving
- Serve with whipped cream.