The family legend says that the only thing that comes close to topping the Lilly Rose Chocolate Pie recipe was her Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon Toast. In fact her Hot Cocoa recipe was so similar to the Chocolate Pie that the only difference was how long you left it on the stove; and if you had a crust ready to pour it in or Cinnamon Toast ready to drink it with! Lilly (Grandma Rose or just Ma Rose to most) was truly a woman ahead of her time.
Raised on a cotton farm between Little Elm and Frisco, Texas, she experienced both abundance and tragedy in her life but never let it slow her down. Living most of her early life on the farm where there was always plenty of fresh ingredients, the secret to her cooking seemed to be her slogan, “If it calls for two eggs put in four. If it says one cup of sugar that means two heaping cups.” And so everything she made was wonderful and rich.
Until recently the recipe was never written down. Lilly Rose passed it down to her kids and Alma Jean Rose Christian (my Grandmother) passed it down to her kids. In Lilly’s true tradition nothing was ever really measured. Just a few eggs here and a pinch of salt there. When you’re not sure just throw in some more sugar! Finally, years ago one of my cousins watched Alma Jean make a pie and captured the ingredients as best as possible.
Since then my dad (who as a boy was Lilly’s favorite mixing bowl scraper) and I set out by trial and error to master the Lilly Rose and Alma Jean Rose Chocolate Pie. According to my dad, we did it! So here for you to try is a recipe near and dear to my heart; the Lilly Rose Chocolate Pie.
BEST EVER LILLY ROSE CHOCOLATE PIE
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup well-chilled shortening
4-6 TBSP ice cold water
2 cups sugar
3 heaping TBSP unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
1/2 cup flour
3 egg yolks— beat separately (save egg whites for meringue)
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
To Make Pie Crust:
1 | Measure shortening and place in the freezer until it is well-chilled.
2 | Mix flour and salt by hand or with a food processor until combined. Add well-chilled shortening and cut into the flour mixture.
3 | Stir in water one tablespoon at a time just until the dough holds together. Roll dough into a ball. Using your palm, flatten the dough into a 1/2” disc, wrap with plastic wrap & chill for 30 minutes.
4 | On a well floured surface, roll the dough 2” wider than the pie plate you are using. Transfer the dough to the pie plate. Trim the edge leaving a slight overhang, fold under and flute the dough.
5 | Prick the bottom and sides of the pie with a fork. Bake at 425 F for 10-12 minutes (or until golden brown). Set aside to cool.
To Make Chocolate Filling:
1 | Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized sauce pan (Use a pan with a thick wall to avoid scorching the chocolate filling).
2 | Add the beaten egg yolks and 1 cup of milk to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
3 | Add the other 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tsp of vanilla and stir again until combined.
4 | Cook over medium heat until hot. Continually stir the mixture to avoid scorching the chocolate.
5 | Add 1 stick of butter, then cook until thick (or as Lilly Rose would say, “until it goes plop, plop, plop!”).
6 | Pour filling into the pie crust & set aside to cool.
To Make Meringue:
1 | In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tarter with electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar gradually, beating until mixture forms stiff peaks.
2 | Add to the top of the chocolate filling. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until the peaks are golden brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
The pie can be served hot or cold, but I like it best when it has been in the refrigerator for a few hours so that it holds its shape. Store leftover pie (if there is any) covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
You can Download the full recipe as a printable PDF at the bottom of this post!
After all your hard work, be sure to let your littlest helpers scrape the bowl!
Remember one of the most important parts (and something that cannot be timed) is the length that you cook the chocolate filling. As Lilly and Alma Jean always said “Just cook it and stir it until you hear the plop, plop, plop sound and then it is ready”. When you hear that sound the first time and taste your amazing pie you will know what Lilly and Alma meant. My hope is that this will become a tradition in your home as it has in mine.
Download the Best Ever Lilly Rose Chocolate Pie Recipe (as a PDF)
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