Below the Mason-Dixon: Southern Chocolate Tart Recipe

Thanks to the summer blockbuster The Help, a movie based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, there is no shortage of chocolate pie recipes floating around and, once again, Southern culture–more specifically–Southern food is at the forefront. In the movie, scandal surrounds a ‘secret ingredient’ in the chocolate pie. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but I assure you that ‘ingredient’ is not in this pie.

I’ve taken my mother’s traditional chocolate pie and flipped it on its ear a bit. The basic recipe remains largely unchanged but there are a few twists–namely the use of a delicious Biscoff cookie crust, the addition of vanilla to the filling, and a salted pecan topping. Different but still wildly delicious.

Southern Chocolate Tart with Salted Pecans

Ingredients (for filling)

1⅓ c. white sugar

3 egg yolks

¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ c. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp vanilla

3 tbsp butter

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together dry ingredients and combine in a deep saucepan. Beat egg yolks with milk. Slowly add to sugar mixture; add vanilla Cook on medium heat until thick while stirring with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon. Remove mixture from heat and stir in butter until melted. Pour filling into baked pie crust and top with salted pecans*. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow tart to cool.

*For the topping, mix ¼ cup crushed pecans with 1 tbsp of melted unsalted butter and ½ teaspoon of sea salt


Ingredients (for crust)

1⅓ c. (about 30 cookies) Biscoff cookies

1 tbsp sugar

1 pinch of salt

¼ c. (or ½ stick) of unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Mix finely ground cookie crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, and pinch of salt in medium bowl. Add lukewarm melted butter; mix to blend. Press crumbs onto bottom and up the sides of dish. Bake until golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool completely in dish on rack.


About Iris "The Palate Princess" M.

Food writer | Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Philadelphia, Main Squeeze: Juicing Recipes for Your Healthiest Self, and On the Line (coming soon)


  1. September 13th, 2011 5:39

    This looks AMAZING. I’ve been wanting to make a chocolate tart for a while now. They just sound so bad for you P. I’ve never heard of that film though… I’m not very up to date on that sort of thing.


  2. Pauline Lambert
    October 26th, 2011 7:23

    Great recipe, i’ll try it along with my girlfriend this evening. Hope i get it right! Cheers


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