The Smith/Cameron/Griffin/Eppinette Family Chocolate Pie

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandmother’s chocolate pie. My mom’s mother, Mama Jewell, made the best southern chocolate pie. And she used her mother’s (Mama Smith’s) meringue recipe. So this recipe has been in our family for a very long time . . . four generations and probably more!

I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about it . . . maybe it’s because I’m limiting my sugar intake these days and isn’t that when we start to dream about all the sweets?!?!? Or maybe the last recipe I posted was Mama Jewell’s chocolate cake, so maybe I just needed to round out the series! So for some special occasion in the future, I’ll have to make this and fulfill my craving. So whether it’s Pi Day, Easter, or just a regular Thursday, I recommend you try it too. (I don’t have any photos of my own, but this one from Back to my Southern Roots looks very similar!)


Mama Jewell’s Chocolate Pie (serves 8)

1 baked pie shell
1¼ cup sugar
½ cup flour, lightly packed
3 Tablespoons cocoa, heaping
2 cup water
3 eggs, separated

½ stick margarine
dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, flour and cocoa together (getting rid of all the lumps). Add enough of the water to make a paste of the dry mixture. Beat in egg yolks. Heat the remaining water and add butter and salt in a saucepan. Add the chocolate paste. Cook until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix well to remove lumps. Cool and pour into 9-inch pie shell.


Mama Smith’s Meringue

6 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cream tartar
4 egg whites

Beat egg whites until foamy. (My mother uses an old fashioned wire whipper in a large platter for fluffy whites.) Add sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until all 6 have been added. Add vanilla and cream tartar. Do not spread but flop meringue in piles on the pie. (I use an old fashioned large bladed knife.) Make pretty swirls and brown under broiler flame or bake in medium hot oven until lightly browned. (You could also use a kitchen torch.)


Gayle’s Tips for Pies (also included in her cookbook, so copied here)

  1. For rolling pastry, use a pastry cloth and stockinet over the rolling pin. This way uses less flour and fewer strokes. Roll one crust at a time.
  2. Before baking, brush the top crust with egg white beaten with a little water or cream to give it a glaze.
  3. Use heatproof glass pie plate for baking 2-crust pies. Shiny metal pans do not bake bottom crust as well as top.
  4. For baking fruit pies, place sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch juices.


(As a reminder, Mom wrote/compiled a recipe book when I was young and gave me my very own copy of it for my 19th birthday when I moved out of the house and into my own apartment. She had gone page by page and written notes to me like “Very good”, “Easy”, “Your Dad’s favorite”, etc. Now that she’s been gone 24 years, those notes are priceless to me. It’s so nice to open a book and hear her voice through her writing. I’m thankful. I’ve added some of my own notes over time so those are in pink.)

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