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Grandma’s Chocolate Meringue Pie

My grandmother served this old fashioned chocolate pie recipe after Sunday dinner each week, usually with an apology it was "too runny" or something else was wrong with it. Of course, grandma's chocolate pie was never less than perfect! – Donna Vest Tilley, Chesterfield, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • Dough for single-crust pie
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar


  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line unpricked crust with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake on a lower oven rack until edges are light golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake until bottom is golden brown, 3-6 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
  • In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir about 1 cup of the hot filling into the egg yolks. Return to saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour hot filling into pie crust.
  • For meringue, immediately beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing meringue to pie crust. Bake until meringue is golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Editor's Note
Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 317 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 93mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Theresa
    Sep 15, 2020

    This was the first time I attempted to make a chocolate pie. It look so beautiful I was hoping it would taste as good as it looked. I tried my experiment and my mom and dad was the taste testers! They said it was the best pie they ever tasted and ate 1/2 the pie! Fail proof recipe if you follow the method. Thank you so much Theresa

  • Mothertater500
    Jul 18, 2020

    This was way thick. Just like granny’s , yes I added mix to egg yolk stirred than added to the pot. Not sure why I did that. I remembered granny did different. No worries it was a hit. But I remember when she added a bit of vanilla to the egg whites at some time, hummm .. great pie!

  • Christopher
    Jul 11, 2019

    I've been making this recipe which was handed down from my Mother years ago. The problem people are having with runny filling is not boiling vigorously enough. These instructions say boil gently for two minutes, when in fact you must boil vigorously for two minutes stirring constantly in order to get it to set up properly. And, to keep the meringue from weeping, I use a recipe that includes marshmallow fluff in my meringue. Tastes better too!

  • janedykstra
    Jan 6, 2019

    So yummy! I made this for my husband’s birthday a few years ago because Chocolate merengue is his favorite. He absolutely loved it! I have been making it for him since.

  • Brandi
    Jan 3, 2019

    If you know how to make banana pudding from scratch, this recipe is for you. If you use instant, I would skip this recipe. This pie is perfect!

  • Bobbi
    Dec 25, 2018

    I followed the recipe exactly and the pie came out perfect! First pie I’ve made in many years.

  • Desiree
    Jun 16, 2018

    Just like my grannie’s pie! Ive made it twice now, zero issues!!

  • Diedra
    Jun 3, 2018

    This is the recipe I've been looking for. I've made 3 pies so far, and all have turned out perfect. My grandmother made wonderful chocolate pies, and she would tell me the ingredients but not the amounts. When I came across this recipe, I knew I'd found the one she used. Thanks! Love the pie and the memories revisited when eating it.

  • Peggy
    Apr 11, 2018

    Pie turned out beautifully and the filling was smooth and thick when I made it, but when I cut into it to serve dinner guests last night it had turned to liquid; I did temper the eggs. I’ve racked my brain as to why that would happened; I feel somewhat better knowing I wasn’t the only one that had a liquid pie...I can’t figure this one out! Taste was good...otherwise it was a disaster.

  • Lynn
    Mar 27, 2018

    The directions are the problem. The reason SI many people have running filling is because the directions should say to TEMPER THE EGGS BY PUTTING A CUP IF THE THICKENED FILLING INTO THE YOLKS WHILE STIRRING THEM VIGOROUSLY. THEN PUT THE YOLK MIXTURE INTO THE POT AND CONTINUE TO COOK IT, Stirring continuously for ...minutes. The original instructions leave out returning the egg yolk mixture to the pot.