Chocolate Chess Pie

Indulge in the ultimate dessert experience with this Chocolate Chess Pie, a delightful treat that melds the gooey richness of a brownie with the unique, crackly top of a classic chess pie. This recipe enhances traditional chocolate with notes of espresso and an optional hint of bourbon, making it an irresistible choice for any occasion.


  • Pie Shell:
    • 1 (9-inch) homemade or store-bought frozen unbaked pie shell
  • Filling:
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
    • 3 ounces 70 to 72% cacao dark chocolate, broken into pieces
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon finely ground instant espresso powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • Flaky sea salt, for garnish


  1. Prepare the Pie Shell:
    • Roll out the homemade dough, crimp the edges, fit it into a nine-inch pie plate, and freeze for at least one hour. For a store-bought crust, follow package instructions for thawing.
  2. Make the Filling:
    • Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in a microwave, stirring until smooth.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted chocolate mixture, cornmeal, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, bourbon (if using), vanilla extract, kosher salt, and heavy cream until well combined.
  3. Assemble and Bake:
    • Pour the filling into the chilled or parbaked pie shell.
    • Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top forms a crackly crust.
    • Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack. The center will puff up during baking and settle as it cools.
  4. Serving:
    • Sprinkle the cooled pie with flaky sea salt. Serve with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an added touch of luxury.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes

Baking Tips:

  • Enhancing Flavors: The espresso powder and bourbon are optional but highly recommended to deepen the chocolate flavor.
  • Ingredient Temperatures: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature to achieve a smooth, even mix.
  • Storage: This pie can be stored at room temperature for a day or refrigerated for up to three days.


This Chocolate Chess Pie offers a sophisticated twist on a beloved dessert, combining deep chocolate flavors with a textured top that is both visually appealing and delicious. Whether for a festive occasion or a cozy family dinner, this pie promises to be a showstopper.

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