Think “fudge brownie”—with a kick! Use only pure red chile powder, not a mix that includes other spices. Start with mild chile; add hot chile for more punch. The pie filling may puff up while baking, then fall and crack when cooled. That’s okay. This recipe produces a thin pie; you may want to double the filling recipe and use most of it for a thicker pie, reserving the remainder for another use. The optional cherry topping adds sweetness and color.

One unbaked pie crust, chilled (see recipe)

½ cup butter

2 ounces semisweet chocolate bar or
60 percent cacao chocolate chips

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ to 1 teaspoon red chile powder

¾ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped


½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca starch

1 cup cold water

3 cups fresh or frozen pitted cherries

Makes 1 Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Fit the pie crust into a small pie pan (no more than 8 inches in diameter). Gently crimp overhanging crust. Set aside.
  2. In a small heat-proof bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, melt the butter and chocolate. The microwave or double-boiler methods both work; just make sure the mixture doesn’t boil. Using a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon, mix well.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs and stir in the brown sugar, mixing until all lumps are gone. Add vanilla and red chile powder. Mix well. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Mix well, then use a whisk or large fork to beat for at least 1 minute, to incorporate air into mixture. It should almost double in volume.
  4. Cover the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with nuts, reserving a few for decoration. Using a spatula, scrape the filling into pie crust and bake approximately 35 minutes. When cool, decorate the top with remaining nuts. Serve with cherry topping (optional).


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, starch, and cold water. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar and starch are dissolved.
  2. Add cherries (thawed, if using frozen) and continue to cook for a few minutes, until sauce begins to thicken; you may have to use medium heat. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then spoon over top of cooled pie.

Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Pie Lady's Favorite Pie Recipes" by Kathy Knapp.