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CARLA HALL Chocolate Chess Pie

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Homemade piecrust combined with this delicious chocolate filling is the perfect pie for your Thanksgiving dessert table!

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks, cold, cut into 1/2-inch dice)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
4 large eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
heavy whipping cream (whipped for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
For the Perfect Pie Crust: in a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. Refrigerate until very cold, about 30 minutes. During that time, refrigerate your butter, flour, mixer bowl, and paddle, too.
Make sure the butter is cut into 1/2-inch dice. Bigger pieces will make the dough puffy. In the chilled bowl, combine the cold butter and flour. With your hands, toss the butter in the flour until each cube is lightly coated.
With the chilled paddle, beat the flour-butter mixture on low speed to just break up the butter, about 30 seconds. Add the water mixture all at once and raise the speed to medium-low. Beat just until the dough comes together in big chunks, then immediately turn off the mixer.
Divide the chunks of dough in half and very gently pat each group into a round 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, before rolling. You can refrigerate the disks for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll pie dough out to 1/8-inch thickness and line a 9-inch pie dish, allowing excess to drape over edge. Fold over edges and crimp, then trim any remaining excess. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Line the pan with parchment and pour in baking beans or weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is light golden. Remove parchment and beans and cook additional 3 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Chocolate Filling: meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the sugars, cocoa powder, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter, and whisk to combine. Add the cornmeal, flour and salt and mix until combined. To the cooled blind-baked crust, add the chocolate-buttermilk custard.
Bake for 45 minutes until the pie is set around the edges. The pie may still jiggle slightly in the center but will be mostly set. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
– Keep the ingredients for the Chess Pie in your pantry all year long for a go-to last minute dessert.
– If making the day before, cover and refrigerate after pie has cooled.

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