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Recipe: Chocolate Chess Pie

Chef Matt Duley shares a dessert recipe that’s perfect for chocolate lovers

PORTLAND, Maine — Matt Duley is the chef at Salt Yard Cafe & Bar located in the Canopy Hotel in Portland's Old Port. He stopped by the 207 kitchen to share his recipe for a traditional southern dessert, Chocolate Chess Pie.


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ pound Cold unsalted butter, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crust:

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl
  2. Quickly knead in the butter until coarse crumbs start to form, being careful not to get the mixture to warm 
  3. Add ice water just until the dough starts to come together
  4. Press between your fingers and if it sticks together, you have added enough water
  5. Transfer dough to a clean work surface and form into a ball
  6. Flatten and cover with plastic wrap
  7. Refrigerate for an hour before using allowing the butter to harden again

For the Filling:

  1. Heat butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until melted and smooth
  2. Remove bowl from the pan and set aside
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture and beat for about 5 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Roll pie dough to the desired size, should fit a 9-inch pie pan
  3. Place parchment and baking stones/beans on the crust and bake for 15 minutes, remove parchment and bake additional 5 minutes or until crust just starts to show color
  4. Pour filling in pie shell and bake on a sheet pan for 35-45 minutes
  5. Remove pie from the oven and let cool on a rack
  6. Once cooled, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled
  7. Serve with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream

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