A pie to remember…

I am haunted by food. Not in a scary, Paranormal Activity sort of way. More like a when Cary Grant first meets Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember and can’t stop thinking about her sort of way. Except for me, it’s that amazing risotto I had the other day, or, in a recent example, that chocolate pie I saw Amy Adams making at the beginning of Julie and Julia. (I’m a sucker for a graham crust.) As soon as I watched the movie two weeks ago, I had to make that pie! It was so good that I’ve been thinking of it ever since, and tonight I succumbed once again.

Nora Ephron's Chocolate Pie

The recipe happens to be Nora Ephron’s own! In addition to being an uber-talented writer and director, she is quite the foodie. How cool is that? Here it is. I am still debating whether or not to add the whipped cream topping at all. I kind of like it with just the chocolate pudding filling on the graham crust!

Nora Ephron’s Chocolate Cream Pie
Makes 6-8 servings

For the crust:
6 tablespoons butter
11/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, in pieces (I used Scharffen Berger)
4 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 tablespoon vanilla

For the whipped topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar

Make the pie crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
3. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar. Add the butter and stir to blend.
4. Press the mixture into a pie plate and prebake for 8-10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before filling.
Make the filling:
1. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and set aside.
2. Bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and stir in the chocolate and let melt.
3. Whisk the milk mixture into the sugar mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to thicken.
4. Add the yolks and stir furiously for a very short time. You want the yolks to thicken the mixture even more but you don’t want them to curdle like little tiny scrambled eggs. Sometimes I do this for only 30 seconds or so.
5. Remove from the heat and stir more. Add vanilla and softened butter. Cover with waxed paper and cool.
“By the way,” Ephron says, “if the eggs do curdle, pour the pudding mixture through a sieve and throw away all the curdled bits. No one will know.”
6. Fill crust with pudding and refrigerate.
Make the whipped topping:
1. Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks. Spread on pie.
- Courtesy of Nora Ephron

Enjoy it! And, help me out here – I’m not the only one who has this sort of fixation, right? You are periodically swept up by powerful, detailed food reveries, too…. aren’t you?

21 comments to A pie to remember…

  • Dilva Henry

    This pie looks FANTASTIC! On behalf of suger-holics everywhere, I thhank you. The pie scene was one of my favs from Julie & Julia. Throughout the movie, I kept thinking: ‘show the pie again, show the pie again!!’

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I’m a little obsessed with Julie & Julia, being a bit of a foodie myself, and upon hearing that the chocolate cream pie was Nora Ephron’s own recipe while watching the commentary, I became intrigued. I searched for the recipe on the internet and found your post, made the pie last night and determined the recipe is a keeper! So delicious!

    Where did you find the recipe?


  • SF

    Hi, Hayley – I’m so glad you enjoyed the pie. Once I saw it in the movie I searched online until I uncovered its origin and found the recipe. It is most definitely a keeper! :)

  • I also made this chocolate pie and am head over heels in love with it. I haven’t made the whipped cream yet because of its tendency to go flat ten seconds after I stop the mixer. Did you end up making it? (I agree that it’s just fine on its own … or with Reddi-Whip, which seems almost a sacrilege after spending so much time and effort on the pie itself.)

  • SF

    Hi, Trina – I have made it twice, and neither time have I added the whipped cream. It hasn’t seemed like it was missing anything! (I agree that Reddi-Whip would be sacrilege :)


  • Trina-

    I did make the whipped cream, though I didn’t spread it on top of the pie before I served it. I just dolloped each slice with a generous bit, and though the pie definitely doesn’t NEED the cream, I think it added a wonderful touch.


  • carissa

    I see I’m a bit behind in finding the recipe, didn’t realize I could Google it till yesterday… second baby baby brain! I ounce ate corn bread and beans for a week straight because the characters in the book I was reading at the time were eating it… so maybe I’m not so much a foodie – though I love love love food!- as I am suggestible! At any rate I can’t wait to try this out… as well as some of the other recipes you’ve posted! Love the story along with the pie by the way!

  • SF

    Oh, I think a love love love of food is precisely the definition of a foodie! I completely respect whatever it was that made you eat corn bread and beans for a week along with the characters in your book; I become similarly obsessed with food from fiction, as you can tell from all my movie-inspired recipes! That pie is a winner… Enjoy!

  • Tracey

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been obsessed with this pie since I first saw Julie and Julia but have been doing so much work on my collection of recipes, consolidating them and finally typing them and saving them to one place that this is the first chance I’ve had to even look for it. Watching Amy Adams preparing the pie on screen, it looked so yummy. Am I the only one who feels like she gained weight just watching that movie?

    I really do miss Julia!

  • Oooooh! How do I do for translating in french? I don’t understand all the recipe! When you put this pie in the fridge, I suppose that she becomes hard? The filling? Because when I saw Julie and Julia I wanted to do like her husband and just eat the not-finished pie!

  • LL

    I made the pie but with a already made crust and helped everything go faster!

  • Elizabeth

    Absolutely fantastic. I’ve made it twice. Once I didn’t even use the crust…just the filling as a pudding…so good

  • Marianna

    I’m obsessed with the movie Julie & Julia. The recipes are amazing & can’t wait to make them all… I would love to start with this delicious cream pie!!!! Just one question… Is the sugar in the recipe just plain white sugar or caster sugar?!

  • SF

    This is a wonderful pie… and an especially good time to make it and remember the great Nora Ephron. I used just plain old granulated sugar, and it was perfectly smooth. i suppose you could use caster sugar if you prefer, or if that’s what you have on hand. Enjoy!

  • Lynette S

    Made this pie for dinner tonight in homage to the late great Nora Ephron. Julie and Julia is a wonderful movie. Eggs and sugar and milk and chocolate create such a silky treat. God Bless you Nora

    See you in the movies!

  • Susan

    I’m watching Julie and Julia for the upteenth time, and for almost the upteenth time I was craving the recipe for that amazing pie.

    Thank you so much!

  • Becky

    Today will be the 2nd time I’ve made this pie… I am a weird foody in that I love to cook, bake, whatever but rarely eat what I make though I do “QC” what I’ve made before serving to others!! My guy is getting sauteed flounder with garlic, parm & chive mashers ?? not sure about the veggie yet and this absolutely scrumptous chocolate cream pie tonight :)

  • Michelle

    I am going to make this really soon. I too loved that pie and most of the food in the movie… the fish in the very beginning looks so good too! I have made the Bruscetta from the movie. I was at the book store a couple of weeks ago and was sad to read in a magazine that Nora passed away last year from cancer. :( I had not heard. I love her movies. Sleepless in Seattle, Julie/Julia, When Harry Met Sally, etc.

  • Joan

    First to answer your question… You are not alone when it comes to food haunting you. This recipe has been on my mind for years now and thanks to your hauntings I can finally make “THE CHOCOLATE PIE!”

    I’m off to the kitchen right now.

    Thank you so much!
    I will return to let you know how it tastes.
    PS. I live in Australia so this will be my first eva Chocolate Pie.

  • Susanna

    Thank you so much for publishing this recipe. I live in Sweden, Europe and am too really obsessed with the film Julie&Julia and by Mastering the art of french cooking.
    When translating the meassureme ts to european standards I notice that 4 ounces of chocolate is only 110 gram. Is it really that small amount of chocolate in this pie?

  • SF

    Hi, Susanna. Thanks for your note! Yes, although 4 oz seems like a very small amount of chocolate, it is correct for this pie. (The end result is perfectly chocolatey, but also surprisingly light.) Enjoy!

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