Nana's Ruined Chocolate Pie

Nana's Ruined Chocolate Pie Recipe

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Barbie Petty


This is a recipe my mother created by accident. The story mom told me was my brother, Dan, who was almost 6 years older than I, was about to have a birthday and Mom asked Dan what he wanted her to bake for his birthday cake. He said no to cake and asked Mom to make a chocolate pie, his favorite.

Mom said she got distracted by being on the phone and some other commotion going on in the house at the time, she dumped in too much of this and too little of that. The pie ended up very thick and, in her words, "ruined"!

But my brother took one bite and absolutely loved it, and kept asking Mom to make him more "ruined" chocolate pies...and a star recipe was born. Everyone in our family loved it and always begged my Mom to make one of her famous "ruined chocolate pies".

It took Mom a while to remember exactly the proportions to the ingredients that "ruined" the pie, but she finally committed it to paper. When she passed away, my sister inherited her red notebook full of her recipes from the 1940s forward. Lo and behold, the ruined chocolate pie recipe was in that binder! And now, we're passing it on to your family and the world to enjoy.


★★★★★ 3 votes



  • 4 c
  • 3 Tbsp
    corn starch
  • 1/2 c
  • 1 tsp
  • 1-1/2 stick
  • 6
    egg yolks
  • 4 c
    milk (whole)
  • 2 tsp
  • 6
    egg whites (for meringue topping)

How to Make Nana's Ruined Chocolate Pie


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a fork in a large bowl, thoroughly mix the sugar, salt, cocoa, and corn starch. (Mixture will be the color of sand.)
  3. With a spoon, cream butter into mixture.
  4. Beat egg yolks until foamy; add milk to egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
  5. Stir egg yolks and milk mixture into the sugar, salt, cocoa, corn starch, and butter mixture, stirring until very well mixed.
  6. Cook in an uncovered sauce pan, over low heat, stirring constantly until boiling. You don't want to scramble the eggs in the mix, so do keep it on low heat. It takes time to bring this to a boil--be patient and don't overcook. Turn down heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until thick.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and let stand 10 minutes.
  8. Pour into two 9-inch pie shells and allow to cool.
  9. Use the 6 egg whites to make meringue topping.
  10. MERINGUE TOPPING: Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat the whites until frothy. Add 12 T granulated sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks are formed. With a spoon, put mounds of meringue around the edge of the pie filling. Spread to touch inner edge of crust all the way around. Heap remainder of meringue in center of pie and spread to meet the rest of the meringue.
  11. Slide the pie into oven preheated to 325 degrees. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until meringue is set and soft brown on peaks. For added browning, you can broil the meringue, but watch it very carefully--it does not take long to burn meringue.
  12. Remove pie from oven and set on a rack to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. Slice and enjoy the best "ruined" chocolate pie you've ever tasted. :)

Printable Recipe Card

About Nana's Ruined Chocolate Pie

Course/Dish: Pies, Chocolate
Main Ingredient: Non-Edible or Other
Regional Style: Southern

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