Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

March 22, 2021
With its smooth and creamy chocolate custard filling beautifully complimented by fluffy meringue topping, it's easy to see why this Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie from scratch is an all-time family favorite dessert. It's a beloved family recipe, passed down from my husband's Nanny. -- And one our whole family loves to enjoy again and again.

Slice of Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

This Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie recipe is one that's near and dear to our family's heart. It's one of those recipes that's very special to us, and an absolute all-time family favorite. It may just go down in history as my husband's most-requested dessert.

It's a favorite because this baked chocolate pie made from scratch is a recipe that's been passed down through my husband's side of the family, holding special memories of my husband's Nanny baking it for him all the time.  And Nanny baked it all the time for my husband's dad to enjoy before that.  And before that? -- Who knows just how long this chocolate pie recipe had been in the family.

With its tasty scratch-made chocolate custard filling topped with fluffy meringue, it's easy to see why this chocolate meringue pie is a favorite.  The texture of the chocolate filling is smooth and creamy, and one that sets up a bit firmer than pudding. The flavor is a rich chocolate that's beautifully complimented by the sweet, spongey meringue.

And sadly when it came my turn to make it in the family's long line of chocolate pie bakers, I didn't nail it right away.

Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie from scratch is an all-time family favorite dessert.

My husband had asked me to bake him Nanny's Chocolate Pie for his birthday. I asked his mom for a copy of Nanny's recipe and, being a fairly skilled baker, figured I'd have no problem at all whipping the pie up for him.

I was wrong.

I followed the recipe just as Nanny had written, mixing up the filling ingredients and pouring them into the pie shell to bake. The very-liquidy filling mixture was supposed to bake up into a soft, creamy, sliceable custard. -- Only mine did not.  When we sliced into my first attempt at Nanny's Chocolate Pie, what we found instead was an oozy pool of chocolatey liquid lying just below the layer of fully-baked surface.  

My first attempt was a totally inedible disappointment, for sure. Oh, the embarrassment of not being able to bake a pie that's been baked for generations in our family!

I'm happy to say I've since successfully made this baked chocolate pie from scratch many a-times, and have figured out the key to success. -- To get the filling to bake appropriately, I had to adjust Nanny's original recipe to include one more egg.  I can only assume this is because eggs in Nanny's time were larger than our current grocery store eggs, and the filling now needs just that little bit more yolk to reach the right consistency.

With Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie from scratch recipe now successfully adjusted to work in current times, it still remains my husband's all-time most-requested dessert.  And I'm more than happy to carry on the baking of it and the passing on of Nanny's beloved family recipe.

Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie with Meringue Topping Image

Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Ingredients:

Nanny's Chocolate Pie is pretty simple in its ingredients.  For the crust and chocolate filling, you'll need:
  • Evaporated milk - Combines with regular milk to form the base of the pie filling.

  • Milk - Use whole milk for the richest filling, but 2% will work too.

  • Granulated sugar - Serves as the chocolate custard filling's sweetener.

  • Baking cocoa - Cocoa creates the pies' rich chocolate flavor.

  • Cornstarch - Serves as a thickener, working with the recipe's egg yolks to create the filling's custardy texture.

  • Egg yolks - The major player in creating the pies' custard-type filling.

  • Vanilla extract - Rounds out and enhances the filling's flavor.

  • Two prepared bottom pie crusts - Make your own, or take advantage of packaged store-bought crusts. Both work just fine! (Though I'm sure Nanny made her own.)

For the meringue topping, you'll need:
  • Egg whites - Reserved from separating the eggs for the filling's egg yolks. Keep in mind, room temperature egg whites work best when making meringue.

  • Granulated sugar - Sweetens up the meringue topping.
Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Ingredients Image

How to Make Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie:

The steps of making Nanny's baked chocolate pie aren't real complicated.  It just takes a little bit of time to make, is all -- You need to separate the recipe's seven eggs, bake the pies for just over an hour, and truly get the pies fully cooled and chilled before you cut them.  But the result is certainly worth the wait!

To make the recipe's two pies, start by separating seven eggs.  The yolks will be used in the pies' chocolate filling, while the whites will become the fluffy meringue topping.
 
Then whisk together the filling's dry ingredients -- sugar, cornstarch, and baking cocoa.  Get these really good and combined.

Mixing Dry Ingredients for Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

In a separate bowl, then lightly beat the eggs yolks.  Add evaporated milk, regular whole milk, and a touch of vanilla extract and whisk this mixture until everything's well combined.

Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture into the dry ingredients.

Adding Wet Ingredients for Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

Next, whisk the wet and dry ingredients together until they're well combined.

Chocolate Mixture for Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

Pour or spoon the filling mixture evenly into the two prepared pie crusts.

The chocolate filling mixture will be a very thin liquid, and you will most likely think there's no way it will bake into a sliceable custard. -- But rest assured, it will!

A little tip -- Place your pie crusts close to the oven before filling them. The liquid-y chocolate filling will slosh around in the pie shells, so it's easiest to not have to move the filled crusts far to get them in the oven.  Especially if you're like me and have shaky hands when you're carrying something.
How to Make Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

Bake the pies for about an hour until the chocolate filling is set.

When the pies are almost done baking, whip up a basic meringue with the egg whites leftover from the yolks used in the pies' filling.

Spread the meringue on top of the baked chocolate filling, being sure to get the meringue right up to and touching the crust all around to seal it. Then return the pies to the oven and bake for about 6-8 minutes more until the meringue is golden brown.

Meringue Topping on Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

Cool the pies at room temperature for a while, and then refrigerate them until they're completely cooled. 

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie Image

When you cut in for a slice, you'll find soft and creamy chocolate custard hiding beneath the top layer of fluffy meringue.  Right along the top of the custard will be a thin, extra-rich layer of chocolate. -- This is truly my husband's favorite part of the pie. 

And in each and every bite, you'll get the wonderful flavor of old-fashioned chocolate custard and sweetened meringue.

Bite of Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie Image

Yes, with its smooth and creamy chocolate custard filling beautifully complimented by the fluffy meringue topping, Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie is an all-time favorite family dessert. It's easy to see why Nanny's beloved recipe has stood the test of time, don't you think?  

We sure hope you love Nanny's pie as much as we do. Enjoy!

Slice of Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie Image
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chocolate pie from scratch, baked chocolate pie, chocolate custard pie, old-fashioned chocolate pie, old-fashioned chocolate pie from scratch
Desserts
Southern
Yield: 2 pies
Author: Tracey | The Kitchen is My Playground
Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

With its smooth and creamy chocolate custard filling beautifully complimented by fluffy meringue topping, it's easy to see why this Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie from scratch is an all-time family favorite dessert. It's a beloved family recipe, passed down from my husband's Nanny.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 H & 8 MTotal time: 1 H & 38 M

Ingredients

Crust & Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 T. baking cocoa
  • 6 T. cornstarch
  • 7 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue topping)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 prepared 9-inch pie crusts (bottom crusts only)
Meringue Topping:
  • 7 egg whites
  • 2 T. granulated sugar

Instructions

Prepare Crust & Chocolate Filling:
  1. Fit pie crusts into the bottom of two 9-inch pie dishes. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract; whisk until well combined.
  4. Add egg yolk/milk mixture to dry ingredients. Whisk together until everything is well combined.
  5. Pour or spoon filling evenly into the two prepared pie crusts.
  6. Bake at 350℉ for 55-60 minutes, until the filling is set.
Prepare Meringue Topping:
  1. Begin preparing the meringue topping when the pies have about 10 minutes of baking left.
  2. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl.  Whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy.
  3. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and with the electric mixer running, gradually add sugar about two teaspoons at a time. Increase mixer to high and continue to whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes total time.
  4. Once pies are baked and set, remove them from the oven and top each with half of the meringue.  Spread meringue right up to and touching the crust all around to seal it.
  5. Return pies to the oven and bake about 6-8 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.
  6. Cool pies at room temperature; then refrigerate until completely cooled.  Store in the refrigerator.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. The chocolate filling mixture will be a very thin liquid, and you will most likely think there's no way it will bake into a sliceable custard. -- But rest assured, it will!
  2. Place your pie crusts close to the oven before filling them. The liquid-y chocolate filling will slosh around in the pie shells, so it's easiest to not have to move the filled crusts far to get them in the oven.
  3. It's best for the egg whites to be at room temperature when making the meringue.
  4. Be aware, the meringue topping will weep a bit (form little droplets of wet sugar) as it's stored in the refrigerator. -- That's normal for this pie.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Nanny's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie ~ With its smooth & creamy chocolate custard filling beautifully complimented by fluffy meringue topping, it's easy to see why this old-fashioned chocolate meringue pie from scratch is an all-time family favorite. The perfect dessert for any occasion!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


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2 comments

  1. This post made me smile. I also have a family recipe for chocolate pie and the very first time I made it was a disaster! I never tried it again but you have inspired me to keep at it. I pinned and printed off your version to see if I could get that one to work out better for me. Thanks so much for sharing. #HomeMattersParty

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks decadently dark chocolate-y. Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday!

    ReplyDelete

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