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May 11, 2005 08:47 PM

Linda Ellerbee's Mother's Fudge "Pie"

  • p

Linda Ellerbee's new book "Take Big Bites", is a terrific read about her travels, food, and lots of other things. There are some recipes too. This dessert is called a pie because it's baked in a 9" pie pan, but there's no crust. I bake very rarely, and this took me about 10 minutes to put together. I had to search for measuring spoons, and I'm including the time it took to find them. It bakes for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

I'll paraphrase the instructions. There's hardly anything to it:


2 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla

Put chocolate and butter in the pie plate and melt in the microwave. Dump in the sugar, flour, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Yes, right in the pie plate! Stir until it's all combined without lumps of flour and no sign of raw egg.

I used a rubber spatula to combine everything. Bake. (It'll puff up some, and then settle down.)

I let it cool maybe half an hour. I had a slice, with some vanilla ice cream on the side.

It's like a giant brownie, sort of cakey, sort of fudgey. Kids would have fun making this, I think.

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  1. That is the famous Katherine Hepburn Brownie recipe.

    6 Replies
    1. re: oldone

      I thought it looked familiar!

      1. re: Dipsy
        Linda Ellerbee

        Katherine Hepburn's recipe? Interesting. My mama never met Ms. Hepburn, nor the other way around. My guess is that this recipe has been floating around for years, under one name or another, and it doesn't matter where it began. What counts is that it is so damn good. Actually, around my house, we rarely let it get cool enough to slice; we just go at it with spoons as soon as it's barely cool enough to eat. Sometimes we don't even wait that long, but what's a burned tongue matter where fude pie is concerned.

        1. re: Linda Ellerbee

          I just revisited this entire thread because I'm planning to make this fudge pie as one of my Thanksgiving desserts. Was the previous post really by Linda Ellerbee? or am I being naive in thinking that?

          1. re: Jane M
            Caitlin McGrath

            I believe it is. Linda Ellerbee has posted on Chowhound a couple times before in past few years.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              How nice - I'm surprised I've never seen her posts before. I really admire her.

              .and so it goes

      2. re: oldone

        Interesting. Thanks. I'd never heard of such a recipe. It's fun, easy, and good. In fact, it was even better this morning!

      3. Hi Pat,

        Wow, this is one good dessert!!

        Since my supermarket doesn't carry Baker's unsweetened chocolate, I substituted 3 Tbs. cocoa + 1 Tbs. butter for each square called for in the recipe.

        Because the amount of dry ingredients increased, I opted to mix everything in a bowl before pouring into the pie pan:

        Whisked together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
        Melted the butter in a saucepan.
        Whisked in the flour, salt, cocoa, and melted butter until smooth.
        Poured into pie pan.

        At 20 minutes, even though it still had some jiggle, a wooden skewer came out clean, so I removed the pie from the oven, and let cool for 30 minutes.

        My goodness! The portion against the pie-plate forms a thin, cakey non-stick crust, the top becomes a slightly crispy crust, while the center is moist and very fudge-like.

        This is just too easy to make!!

        Thanks again,

        3 Replies
        1. re: Andy P.

          You're welcome, Andy. I'm glad you figured a way to make it without Baker's. I couldn't have done that in a million years. Baking is as mysterious to me as aerodynamics!

          The crispy crunch came as a pleasant surprise to me, and I've since made it again. I think I'll snip some marshmallows into the better the next time. I may try mixing it in a separate bowl too, although that's something else to wash!

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            The marshmallows sounds like a really fun idea! And I'll bet it will taste great.

            I just made another, and included the zest of one baseball-size navel orange. After cooled, dusted with powered sugar. Fantastic! The chocolate and orange flavors really struck a nice balance.

            This is one really versatile recipe. It's going to be a lot of fun experimenting with additions.


            1. re: Andy P.
              Caitlin McGrath

              I'll bet a splash of orange liqueur in the batter with the zest would be good.

              Or, on another note, a handful of dried tart cherries.

        2. Yum, I made this tonight. So fast and easy!

          I misread the directions and ended up baking it at 350 for 20 minutes. It was definitely much more fudgy than cakey, but it held together fine and went great with barely sweetened fresh whipped cream. I'd try it at the temperature and time suggested, but I really liked the consistency so I might just go back to the lower temperature/time.

          I mixed the eggs up a bit in a cup before adding them to the rest, and I'd recommend doing that. I mixed everything together in the pie plate with just a fork and that also worked fine.

          Thanks for the recipe- this is a great recipe to have around for those "oh shoot, forgot about dessert!" moments!

          1. Can you please tell me how much (in weight) two squares of Bakers chocolate would be?

            Also, do you grease and flour the pie plate? (I guess not)...

            Thank you!


            2 Replies
            1. re: naomi

              Hi Naomi,

              Two squares of Bakers chocolate equals two ounces.

              Nope, no prepping of pie plates is needed.

              Have fun! I've now made three different versions, (original, with orange zest, and with dried strawberries) and all three are hits with my staff.


              1. re: Andy P.

                Thanks for getting back Andy, I am really looking forward to trying this one :-)

            2. t

              I've made this twice now. Came in handy when I needed to make something fast for unexpected company (x2).

              --I also thought the recipe sounded and tasted familiar. So I looked it up in Joy of Cooking and it is almost exactly their recipe for Brownies Cockaigne, but divided by half.

              --I added 2 teaspoons orange zest and a teaspoon of cointreau in lieu of vanilla. Very nice, pleasant taste.

              --The second time I mixed the ingredients in a bowl then poured it in the pie dish/ Why? Because I served it in the dish and the sides get messy from stirring.

              Regardless of its origins...Good is good...and this be good!