makes one 9” pie
For the pie crust- (you can use your favorite pie crust recipe, but I like the way the texture of this crust offsets the richness of the filling. Traditionally, Chess Pie calls for cornmeal in the filling- I prefer it tucked inside the pie crust.)
1 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) cold, unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons heavy cream, cold
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, and salt. Cut in butter pieces until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream. Add the yolk mixture to the flour/butter mixture, using a fork to toss the mixtures together until you have a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough together, gently turning the dough a few times until smooth, shape into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight, before rolling out. Roll out into a circle approximately 12” in diameter and transfer to a 9” pie plate. (Save any scraps to bake off for snacking.) Turn the edges under, crimp decoratively and freeze until firm.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with beans or rice. Place on a baking sheet and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for approximately 25 minutes, until the edges of the pie crust are firm and the bottom of the crust is set. Carefully remove the parchment or foil and beans and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil strips to prevent over browning and continue baking the crust until the bottom is no longer raw, and is golden, approximately 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you prepare the filling. (Pie crust can be prepared a day ahead, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and left on the counter.)
For the filling-
2 oz. unsalted butter
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I use Trader Joe’s 72% Dark)
½ cup Buttermilk (I use Five Acre Farms)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I use Medaglia D’oro)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Jones’ Vanilla)
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, whisked together in a small bowl
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large heat-proof bowl set over a pot filled halfway with simmering – not boiling – water, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from over the double boiler and whisk in the buttermilk until smooth. Whisk in the sugars, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk until well incorporated. Place the pie shell on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the chocolate filling over the pie crust and bake in the pre-heated 325 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes, just until the center of the pie begins to set. Do not over bake; the pie will continue to set up as it cools. Serve with freshly whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers; the texture of the pie is best when served at room temperature.