An original recipe by Erin McDowell
Photo by Jennifer May
Category: Pie
Difficulty: Easy
 Makes one 9 inch pie


Black Bottom :
61g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
one 9 inch pie crust, blind baked and cooled completely
Black Bottom Chocolate Crust
1¼ cupall-purpose flour
½ cupValrhona Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoonsalt
½ cupconfectioners' sugar
10 teaspooncold butter, cut into thin pats
5 teaspoonice water
71g  (2.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
213g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
191g (½  cup) maple syrup
2g (½  tsp) fine sea salt
5g  (1 tsp) vanilla extract
170g (3 large) eggs
255g (2  cups) hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Black Bottom

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
  • Place the Guanaja 70% Chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. In a small pot, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until combined and smooth.
  • Pour the ganache into the pie crust and spread into an even layer in the base. Set aside.

Black Bottom Chocolate Crust

  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and confectioners' sugar (see "tips," below).
  • Work the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or fork, your fingers, or a stand mixer. Don't mix the butter in completely; leave some of it in pea-sized lumps.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of the water, then enough additional water to just bring the dough together; it should be cohesive, but not sticky.
  • Shape the dough into a disk, and chill until you're ready to use it.



  • In a medium bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla to combine. Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Place the hazelnuts into the pie crust, on top of the chocolate, then pour the egg mixture over it. Transfer to the oven and bake until the custard is set at the edges, but still slightly jiggly in the center, 33-36 minutes; the nuts should look lightly golden and the crust should evenly be browned. Cool completely before serving.


Tip from the Chef

  • Compared to a typical chocolate cookie crust, this pastry crust is chocolate-forward, one most suited to adult tastes and as a counterbalance to very sweet filling. Adding 1/2 cup sugar makes a crust whose sweetness is about the equivalent of the cookie part of an Oreo cookie; in other words, barely sweet. If you prefer a sweeter crust, continue adding sugar to taste.