Alex's Chocolate Chess Pie

From Carrie Morey's hot little suppers cookbook

Alex's Chocolate Chess Pie


  • • 1 recipe Mama's Butter Pie Crust
  • • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • • 2 cups sugar
  • • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • • 4 large eggs, well beaten
  • • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • • Serving suggestion: whipped cream or ice cream

I love this pie, and I love this story. Alex and I were friends in college and then roommates in New York when I met my husband, John. I give Alex and her pie a good bit of credit for John’s and my whirlwind romance. After only two weeks of dating I was ready for John to meet my friends. None of my friends in New York ever had any- body over to their apartments for supper, since we were all single and living in tiny cubbyholes—but I was determined to host a dinner party. I made roast chicken, rice and gravy, and fried okra. Alex said she would make a chess pie. (There are many theories as to the origin of the name “chess pie,” but my favorite is that it evolved from people call- ing it “jes pie,” as in “just” a simple pie.)

As we sat finishing up the meal around the grandly set coffee table, Alex went and got the chess pie. When she asked John if he’d like a piece of pie, John said, “No thank you.” Well, I wasted no time in kicking him pretty hard under the table. Alex had gone out of her way to make this pie for his visit, and he was being rude not accepting a piece! Later, John told me, “That’s the day I knew you were going to be my wife.” Apparently he didn’t mind and in fact was delighted by a strong minded woman who would put him in his place when necessary. And he does the same thing to me. Chess pie is now a family tradition John wouldn’t dare pass up. And we continue to kick each other under the table—when necessary.


  1. Make one recipe Mama's Butter Pie Crust and fit it into a 9-inch round x 2 inch deep pie dish
  2. Fit the dough into a 9 inch deep dish pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Stir in the cocoa and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the pie crust. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until the top stops jiggling and the surface barely moves.
  6. Let cool completely on a rack before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

Hot Little Tip

This Chess Pie is now a family tradition that John wouldn’t dare pass up. Look for ways to bring tradition to your table with your family's favorite dishes!