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Recipe for chocolate chess pie

Chocolate chess pie
Chocolate chess pieKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe/Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Makes one 9-inch pie

Pumpkin and pecan are classic, but it’s nice to mix things up a little. Chess pie is a Southern tradition that involves little more than a flaky crust filled with eggs, sugar, and melted butter. There are as many variations as there are kitchens. Here, add cocoa powder for an extra-indulgent slice. The only trick to this easy dessert is to choose the right pie dish. The filling is very scant, so select a plate that is no deeper than 1½ inches, though 1¼ inches is ideal. Once the pie has cooled, dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder and serve with whipped cream, if you like.

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DOUGH

1cup flour, plus more for sprinkling
1pinch salt
¼teaspoon baking powder
2teaspoons sugar
5tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾teaspoon white vinegar
2tablespoons ice water

1. Have on hand a 9-inch pie plate. In a food processor, pulse flour with salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Add vinegar and ice water. Pulse a few times. Turn out on a lightly floured counter. Knead just until the dough comes together. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll dough to a 12-inch circle. Lift it onto the rolling pin and into the pan. Fold the dough overhang like a hem, and press the rim so it is ¼ inch high. Crimp the edge decoratively.

4. Freeze for 20 minutes.

FILLING

¼cup cocoa powder
cups brown sugar
¼teaspoon salt
1teaspoon espresso powder
10tablespoons melted butter
1egg yolk
3eggs
1teaspoon vanilla

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, and espresso powder.

2. Add melted butter, yolk and eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

3. Pour filling into the pie pan. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the filling has souffled slightly and the center is set.

4. Set the pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature. Karoline Boehm Goodnick


Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com