The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anyone from the south (US) make pies? Chocolate pies?

tmarz's picture

Anyone from the south (US) make pies? Chocolate pies?

I watched the movie "The Help" and loved it! but I was also inspired by the food. Yes I grew up eating some traditional souther fare... but I am from NW US sooo... it wasn't as common. However I was inspired by the chocolate pie (with out the special ingredient!). All the chocolate pies I have had were like pudding pies. I browsed the internet and came across a couple recipes and decided on one. i didn't like the texture as much either I baked it a hair too long, or it had one too many eggs.

for the filling I did:

1 1/4 cups sugar

5 Tbl cocoa

2 tbl flour

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1/3 cup of butter.


It just felt to eggy to me (texture-wise). Maybe I will try two eggs and 1 yolk. I thought I would petition the group to see if any of you have made one or have a traditional recipe. I think the texture I want is like a silky smooth fudgy brownie... if that is possible.




asfolks's picture

I am from North Carolina and this is my Mom's chocolate pie. It is very fudgy, especially when cooked down.(I like mine really thick and cook it down so much that I sometimes have to double the recipe)
2 egg yolks
3 Tbl cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 Tbl flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl butter
pinch of salt
Heat milk, add butter and well beaten egg yolks.
Mix together sugar, cocoa, flour and pour into milk.
Stir constantly until desired thickness.


pmccool's picture

Some, like the recipes you and Alan have posted, are in a pudding/custard vein.  A French Silk pie, while more mousse than pudding, produces a similar texture.  Others are more nearly a brownie in a pie shell.  I've even seen a variety that managed to marry pecan pie and the brownie-ish version.

However, if someone says "chocolate pie" to me, the first thing that pops into mind is a chocloate pudding type of filling in a pre-baked pie shell.  With a dollop of whipped cream, please.  The flour seems to produce a slightly stiffer filling than cornstarch would, which helps the individual slices retain their shape instead of slumping.


thomaschacon75's picture

...the southern chocolate pies I grew up with were made with chocolate Jello pudding, Cool Whip, and a store-bought graham cracker crust.

A really good one to make from scratch is the Chocolate Cream Pie from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible, p. 202.

I prefer to use a graham cracker crust (she uses a pastry crust). 

Here's the recipe I use for the graham cracker crust:

  • 10 graham crackers, ~2 ½ cups 
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Process graham crackers, sugar, and salt into a fine texture using a food processor.
  3. Add melted butter to graham crackers, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. 
  4. Pour into a pie dish, spread evenly, using your fingers to press the crumbs firmly against the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
  5. Bake crust for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before filling.
jbaudo's picture

I found this interview with the author of the book Kathryn Stockett and she has the recipe that her maid used for her family.  This is the same pie recipe that is used in the movie.

Our maid, Demetrie, didn’t write recipes down. She put in a pinch of this and a drop of that, adjusting her ingredients with the humidity or her mood. Her cakes and pies were exquisite. Finally, my grandmother asked her to please, put her recipes on paper, and that was probably the first time any of us admitted that one day Demetrie wouldn’t be there to cook for us.

Demetrie was best known in Jackson, Mississippi for her caramel cake and her recipe was printed in the Junior League of Memphis cookbook. Since caramel cake is both labor intensive and hard to get just right, I thought I’d submit Demetrie’s chocolate pie recipe instead.

I ought to tell you, you might get some suspicious looks if you serve it at book club. If you’ve read The Help, you’ll understand why.

Demetrie's Chocolate Pie

1-2/3 cups water
5 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder, such as Ghiradelli
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie shell, prebaked plain or graham cracker
Whipped cream (or if it’s not too humid, you can top with meringue)
Shaved chocolate to sprinkle on top, for looks

  1. In a medium sized, cool saucepan, mix water, cocoa, and cornstarch with a whisk until all the lumps are gone, making a paste. Stir in condensed milk and egg yolks. Heat to just under a boil and stir until it’s thick.
  2. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter. Add in your good vanilla, and keep stirring well. Turn off the heat and let it cool some. Pour into a prebaked pie shell, storebought if that’s how you do things.
  3. Let the pie set-up in a cool spot, like a plug-in refrigerator, covering with wax paper so you don’t get a skin. Dollop cream on top or top with meringue.

Yield: 1 9 inch pie, 6-8 servings

tmarz's picture

Thanks for all the recipes. When I saw the movie The Help It really looked like a baked pie... not custard or pudding like. 

Though trial and error I think I found it it...

The second time I did:

home made pastry crust partially baked about 7 minutes at 400 degrees, docked (as not to puff up) and then sealed with egg white to seal crust

the filling:

1 cup sugar

4 TBL butter

2 eggs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder (might be a little too chocolaty.. maybe do 3 TBL)

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla.


Directions: Cream butter/sugar/salt. add eggs vanilla. add flour/cocoa. Add milk last. pour into crust and bake about 35 minutes till almost set. top with meringue. 

The texture really inbetween a pudding and a brownie... fudgy but smooth... and oh so good! i promise you will love it!