A chocolaty version of chess pie. This recipe features a perfectly flaky pie crust holding a gooey and RICH chocolate filling. It's a lot like eating the fudgiest brownie eveeeerr with bites of crispy and crunchy pie crust! Absolute. Heaven.
It's about TIME we made a chocolate filled pie, and what better recipe to start with than chocolate chess pie?!
This recipe is made without cocoa powder because a) the first time I tried making it, I didn't have any on hand, and b) it turned out EVEN BETTER than any cocoa powder version I've tried since.
So a perfectly happy accident!
Using all pure chocolate instead of a mix of chocolate and cocoa makes for a richer and better flavor, with a more velvety and creamy center.
You landing on this recipe makes me assume you're a chocolate lover (aka you have amazing taste) so I'll bet you'd LOVE these fudgy chocolate brownies as well!
what is chess pie?
Chess pie is made up of a partially baked pie crust that is then topped with a filling that I can best describe as a mix between a custard and a meringue. Allllll baked together into this wonderful confection!
After baking, the filling forms a crackly and crisp top while the under layer is creamy and custardy. Chocolate chess pie filling is very reminiscent of a brownie.
what is blind baking a pie crust?
Blind baking is essentially where you partially bake a pie crust (or any similar pastry dough) without any sort of filling.
Blind baking is most often used if you have a more liquid heavy / runny pie filling - this pre-bake helps prevent a soggy pie crust / bottom - or if you plan on adding in a filling that doesn't need to be baked (like pudding or pastry cream)!
how to blind bake pastry
There are three common ways to blind bake a pastry crust: using pie weights, using dried beans, or using another pan.
Regardless of which option you go with, blind baking starts with rolling your pie crust and fitting it into your pie dish. You can just tuck in the edges underneath themselves to smoothen out the look of the crust - and / or crip them to create a pattern if you like.
Use a fork to poke holes all along the bottom of the pie dough.
Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper (crumbling the paper up beforehand helps it fit more nicely into the pie). Then, fill the parchment lined crust with either:
a) conventional pie weights (these are my favorite!)
b) dried beans (keep in mind you won't be able to cook them afterwards, but you can continue to use them for blind baking in the future), or...
c) nestle in a pie dish that's slightly smaller than the dish you're using to bake the pie (you can use any small, round, heavy baking dish in the center).
Bake the pie crust with the parchment paper and weight filling to help the crust bake up evenly, then remove the weight and bake again to set the bottom.
If you're using my favorite pie crust recipe, you may notice the crust form one big bubble in the center after the second bake because of the baking powder. You can just gently push it back down with something flat.
Annnnd you have officially blind baked a pie crust! Woot, woot!
The amount of time you need to bake the crust depends on the nature of the recipe.
A good general rule of thumb is that when you plan on filling your crust with a filling that needs to be baked, the total bake time will be around 25 minutes. If you plan on using a filling that does not need to be baked, the total bake time will be around 30 to 35 minutes.
chocolate chess pie ingredients
• unbaked pie crust: I wanted to include the full pie crust recipe with the filling below, but I felt the recipe started getting too wordy, and you could always use store bought. I personally love using this pie crust recipe (it's the one I used this time around as well)!
• chocolate: look for good quality chocolate because it will make a world of a difference in terms of flavor and texture! It doesn't need to be super expensive, just avoid chocolates that aren't specifically made for baking or melting
• espresso powder: it doesn't add any coffee flavor to the pie, but it does make the chocolate flavor extra bold!
• sugar: a mix of granulated and brown sugar makes for the best texture and fudginess for the filling! If you don't have any brown sugar on hand, here's how to make brown sugar at home.
• eggs: while it is more common to see chess pie made with a mix of whole eggs and egg yolks, I loved the pie equally with just whole eggs! Plus, I almost always separate eggs, set aside the whites for later, and end up forgetting them in the back of my fridge until I have to inevitably throw them out. No thanks.
• heavy cream
how to make chocolate chess pie
1. Blind bake your pie crust. Set aside to prep the filling.
2. Melt chocolate and butter together.
3. Whisk espresso and salt in to dissolve. It may not fully dissolve, but that's totally fine.
4. Whisk in remaining wet ingredients.
5. Whisk flour into wet ingredients.
6. Pour the filling into your blind baked pie crust. Make sure to leave at least ¼ inch space between the top of the crust and the filling. The filling is going to puff up slightly (but not a whole lot).
7. Bake until puffed and the center no longer jiggles if you gently shake the pie plate. The edges of the pie should be golden brown at this point as well!
8. Cool & serve! You can serve this pie slightly warm or at room temperature.
too much chocolate filling
When you're pouring the chocolate filling into your pie crust, you may find you have a bit of extra filling leftover. This could be because the pie crust wasn't rolled out wide enough (happens to me waaaaay too often!) or the pie crust shrunk a little bit extra while it was baking.
Either way, make sure to fill your crust with the filling until you have about a ¼ inch of clearance from the top (to account for it puffing up slightly during the second bake).
Any extra filling you have, you can pour into a greased and parchment lined ramekin, and bake it on the side with your pie as an extra little treat! The bake time will depend heavily on how much filling you have leftover exactly - so just keep an eye out for when the top becomes crisp and the center no longer giggles when you shake the ramekin.
chocolate chess pie storage
Keep your chess pie covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days.
This pie is best served room temperature or warm, so I would suggest letting it sit out for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Check out these other chocolate recipes!
Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe
- 1 disk unbaked pie crust (half batch if using my recipe) *see notes
- 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped **see notes
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 60g) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup (80mL) heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly dust the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate with flour, and set aside
- Blind bake the crust: On a lightly floured work surface, roll your pie dough out until it's about 2 inches larger than your pie plate.1 disk unbaked pie crust
- Transfer the pie dough to your floured pie plate, and tuck the shaggy edges underneath the dough to hide them. You could also trim them off, but I personally like the added thickness to the crust!
- Crimp the edges of the pie dough using your fingers (see above for visual) or leave as is for no pattern (same amazing taste!) Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Freeze the pie dough for 10 minutes to help it keep its shape.
- Take the pie out of the freezer and line the pie crust with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust with dried beans or pie weights to blind bake the crust. Alternatively, you could nestle a slightly smaller, heavy round baking dish to weigh down the bottom of the pie.
- Bake the pie crust in the center of your preheated 375°F oven with the weights for 15 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and weights.
- Place the crust back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. The crust should not be browned at this point! Take the crust out of the oven, and set aside to prep the filling.
- Decrease your oven's temperature to 350°F.
- Prepare the chocolate pie filling: In a medium microwave / heat safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter, and melt in your microwave or over a bain-marie.To melt in the microwave, heat the mixture on high for 20 seconds. Pause to stir, and continue heating in 10 second intervals, stirring after each burst, until fully melted and smooth.To melt over a bain-marie, fill a small pot with about 1 inch of water and bring the water up to a gentle simmer. Place the bowl on top of the pot (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth.6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate,, ¼ cup (½ stick / 60g) unsalted butter,
- Pour the chocolate butter mixture into a large bowl. While the chocolate is still warm, add your espresso powder and salt. Whisk to combine, and let sit for 5 minutes to cool down slightly.1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add your granulated and brown sugar, eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla to the chocolate mixture. Whisk together until well combined.½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar,, 2 large eggs,, ⅓ cup (80mL) heavy cream,, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Add the flour, and whisk until you no longer see any dry streaks of flour. Take care not to over mix. A few clumps are fine!½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour,
- Pour the chocolate filling into your partially baked pie crust, leaving at least a ¼ inch clearance between the top of the filling and the top of the pie crust. ***(see notes)
- Bake the pie in the center of your preheated 350°F for 50 minutes, or until the surface looks dry and crackly, and the pie no longer jiggles in the center when you shake it.
- Take the pie out of the oven and place onto a wire rack. Set aside to cool for 1 to 2 hours (for a warm pie) or until completely cooled before slicing and serving!