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Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

An Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie with a rich custard filling, a light and airy meringue and a tender pie crust always brings back memories of childhood. Nothing beats homemade pie just like grandma’s pie.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

One of my great grandmother’s specialties was chocolate meringue pie. She would tirelessly whip those egg whites by hand. Thank goodness, I can let my Electric Mixer do the work! That takes some serious forearm strength.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie


Unfortunately I don’t have my great-grandmother’s recipe, but this one is very similar. It’s a recipe from Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets in Keo, Arkansas that was published in Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous . I’ve altered the recipe just a little, reducing the vanilla extract and adding an extra egg white to the meringue.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie


This is a really solid recipe that produces a super-sweet chocolate filling that is balanced out by a meringue with just a touch of sweetness.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

The cornstarch really helps the chocolate filing set up so that it holds its form when sliced and doesn’t make a soupy mess all over the plate. Don’t be intimidated by the meringue. It’s super easy. Just remember that eggs are easier to separate when they are cold but egg whites should be at room temperature when you make a meringue. And make sure to use a very clean and dry bowl. Just a tad of oil or grease will prevent the egg whites from whipping up nicely.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

Once baked, cool the pie at room temperature for 1 hour and then refrigerate uncovered for 3 to 6 hours. To slice the pie, dip a knife in water before cutting each slice and don’t wipe the knife dry. The water will help prevent the pie from clinging to the knife.

To store leftovers, gently place a few toothpicks in the meringue and cover with plastic wrap. The toothpicks will prevent the plastic wrap from clinging to the meringue and messing it up.

Below are a few pictures from my weekend getaway in Beaufort, SC. Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina and has a very rich and interesting history. And I feel quite sure there have been more than a few Chocolate Meringue Pies made in Beaufort through the years.


historic home on Bay St in Beaufort SCHistoric home on Bay St.

Unlike many southern cities, Beaufort was not burned during the Civil War and there are still block after block of beautiful antebellum homes. Beaufort was one of the first southern towns to be captured by Union forces and many of the homes were used as hospitals during the war.

historic home on Bay St in Beaufort SC

The stone home pictures above is next to the white one in the first picture and it is for sale for just under $1.2 million. All that stone looks rather foreboding doesn’t it?

Beaufort SC

If you sit on the front porch of either house you have this beautiful view of the Beaufort River.

Just a few blocks away on Craven St is the house pictured below which is one of my favorite in Beaufort. The house is so big, only part of it can be seen in the picture.

The Castle in Beaufort SC

Known as “The Castle”, this home was used as a hospital during the war and an outbuilding out back was used as a morgue. The home is now said to be haunted. Like almost all of the historic homes in Beaufort, it is still a private residence. The wedding scene from the movie Forces of Nature was filmed in the front yard.

Walking the historic streets of Beaufort, lined with live oaks draped in Spanish moss, is one of my favorite things to do to unwind. With the breezes of the water and the sound of the seagulls, it’s hard not to relax. I’m hoping it won’t be long before I get to go back.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

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Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie slice on a white plate.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

This classic Chocolate Meringue Pie has a creamy and thick chocolate filling and a tall, glossy meringue.
PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 29 minutes
TOTAL: 59 minutes



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Chocolate Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 5 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • Prepare Pastry. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Push mixture to one side of bowl.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon water along edge of flour mixture. Use a fork to toss some of the flour mixture into water. Move mixture to opposite side of bowl and repeat with 2 more tablespoons of water.
  • Gather the dough together with your hands. You can add a little more water if the mixture is too dry, but it is best to add as little water as possible. Shape dough into a disk and place on a lightly floured work surface.
  • Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Trim excess pastry and fold edges under and crimp. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake for 9 minutes, until golden brown. Set pie crust aside to cool and reduce oven to 325 degrees.
  • Prepare Chocolate Filling. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa, and salt. Gradually whisk in both milks.
  • Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute whisking continuously.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. Continue to add hot mixture to egg yolks while whisking constantly until approximately 1/4 of the mixture has been added to the egg yolks.
  • Pour egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk well.
  • Cook mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm.
  • Prepare meringue. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves.
  • Pour chocolate filling into pie crust. Spread meringue over filling, sealing the edges. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or until meringue is golden. Cool completely before slicing.


After baking, cool on the counter for 1 hour and then place in refrigerator uncovered for 3 to 6 hours before slicing.


Calories: 357kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern

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170 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie”

  1. Yes pie was delicious no weeping on meringue but when I cut first piece a sweet liquid ran out of pie coming from under crust.

  2. Lisa Gunn-Beshears

    My dad would make this pie for every major Holiday! He passed away in 2018 so I will make their in his honor!!!

  3. This is the same exact pie my mom used to make. It was my favorite growing up. I wish I had encouraged her to teach me how to cook.

  4. My aunt Edna made this for me when I visited her and my uncle in their little cabin in the woods of Little Washington Virginia. I used fresh local eggs as she did and added an extra egg yolk and did not put in the evaporated milk because I did not have any. The merengue came out beautiful! Thank you so much for this recipe. Tip for people who get ahead of themselves. Put the yolks in after the chocolate mixture has started to cook.

  5. It turns out wonderful! I’ve made other recipes but this is my favorite by far. Put a little in a custard cup to eat warm. So good!

  6. Absolutely delicious!! The one thing I didn’t do was letting pie cool in refrigerator for an additional 3 hr. The pie cooled for an hour. My pie looked like the picture, however my pie could have been a little more thicker. Family loved the pie. I will definitely make it again.

  7. carolyn mcmillan

    the filling was so thick i couldnt cook anymore after i added the egg yolks.
    I then added more liquid, it was then too runny! What is the problem? It tasted great and I would llike to make it again, but right consistency.

  8. carol bittner

    I was craving chocolate pudding so started searching in my ‘saved pies’ section. The pic of this pie told me this is the perfect pudding recipe. Well guess what? better than perfect, it’s excellent! Will make this again and again! Also will be making the pie. Thank you for your old fashioned recipes; they are the best!!!

  9. The Unknown Baker

    I made this with my Aunt and everything was okay until we got to the meringue it was runny and not coming up in peaks and so we are waiting(cleaning up) to see if that helps!. Any suggestions?… If it works by waiting I will make a reply to this comment and if not I will make a reply about that to. But any suggestions?

    1. The Unknown Baker

      Ok that did not work so we kept mixing it and we put it in the oven by its (1/4 of it) and then it was rubbery so we were like well lets just try and we put it on the pie with like 7 minutes left and it turned put good to be honest the meringue tasted better then the crust

    2. Make sure the egg whites are room temperature and that there is not a speck of oil in the bowl (only glass or metal, no plastic). I refrigerate the bowl and beaters. Beat u til peaks form.

    3. Make sure bowl is dry when you start. No yolks, whites only. Beat on high and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time till blended. If you use more eggs, you’ll need more sugar. Beat till it gets thick and forms peaks. That’s it friend. Good luck.

  10. This is the best chocolate pie! Sets up perfectly and is perfect amount of chocolate. Great texture too. The only thing I did differently was only use 4 egg whites for meringue. It was huge with 4. thank you for great recipe!

  11. Please tell me what happened… I followed the recipe exactly. It looked beautiful, magazine beautiful. But, when I cut it, it looked like runny “poop”. It tasted great, but the chocolate was just a runny mess. Suggestions???

  12. Tastes almost exactly like my grandma’s homemade recipe. Everytime I make this it brings back some of the best memories I have with her. Thank you for giving me the ability to live those happy days endlessly! God Bless you! ❤️

  13. This is a phenomenal recipe. My family and I love it. Everyone gets exited when they hear I’m making this pie. I always double the recipe because it goes quickly and it takes some time to make this beauty. Perfect opportunity to make something with love for others to enjoy. My first time making this I had NEVER made homemade pie crust, meringue or this pie. It came out flawlessly. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Peace and Grace.

  14. Lanae Harris

    It was so easy and quick. For someone whose never made a chocolate meringue pie this was great

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