this is one of those recipes that i made once, and people won’t stop asking me to make it again. i usually decline people’s requests, telling them that there are just so many new recipes to try out there – why waste time making the same thing twice?! but really, this pie deserved a repeat performance.
a chess pie is traditionally a very simple pie made with a sweet custardy filling. this version is not traditional. the crust is a crunchy, crumbly chocolate graham cracker crust, and the filling is still custard-like in its rich creaminess, but it’s deep and chocolatey in flavor. oh, and then there is a layer of peanut butter in the middle, which adds some nice saltiness as well as a thick, smooth texture. this pie is a never-fail crowd pleaser, and i completely understand why i get asked to make it so often. it really does deserve it.
a sweet, rich, chocolatey pie with a layer of peanut butter in the middle.
- 13 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), divided
- 1½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (from about 1½ sleeves of crackers)
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- spray a pie dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 325ºf.
- in a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave 5 tablespoons of the earth balance in 30-second intervals until it is completely melted. stir in the graham cracker crumbs until everything is evenly moistened.
- press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie dish (but not up the sides). bake it until it is set, about 8 minutes. let the crust cool completely.
- in the microwave or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the rest of the earth balance until the mixture is completely smooth. stir in the sugar, then the vanilla and salt. add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition.
- spread the peanut butter in an even layer over the cooled crust. then, pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter. bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, until it is set at the edges and just a bit jiggly in the middle. let the pie cool completely on a wire rack, then put it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.