Grandma Ruth’s Chocolate Sundae Pie

Normally, I like to accompany my recipes with step by step pictures, but not today…


I made this pie for Thanksgiving while up in Ventura at my in-law’s house. With so much cooking and baking to do, I didn’t have the time or energy to take detailed pictures of each step, but what the heck,…I’m going to post it anyway, just because it’s so delicious!!

This is the background to this glorious, custard-y dish of delight…

My sweet Grandma Ruth has made this pie,… since ever!! It is what I have known,… it is what’s familiar to me,… and it is what’s a STAPLE at ALL holiday dinners in our family. And get this,….supposedly it is what caused my Grandpop to marry my Grandmom. She said she had only known my Grandpop for a week or so and when she made him this pie, he dropped on his knee right then and there and asked her to marry him. True story…. not exaggerated one bit. Well,… maybe a bit, but just a little bit. He did eat her pie and he did ask her to marry him… shortly thereafter. Just not right after he took the first bite… maybe a couple days later or so…


The funny/sad part to the story is that my Grandpop and Grandma Ruth divorced about 20 years later, but he still always loved that pie! In his old age, he developed diabetes which didn’t allow him to have many sweets, but every time there were holiday gatherings he’d still try to sneak my Grandma’s pie,… even with my step grandmother peeking over his shoulder.

So, as you can see,… this pie is pretty much what our family is built on (ok, that may be pushing it a little bit!) but,… it’s really, really, really good! And, you should make it!

Grandma’s Chocolate Sundae Pie

1 c. evaporated milk

1/2 c. water

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

3 eggs (separated)

3/4 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 envelope knox’s gelatin dissolved in 3 tbsp. cold water (dissolved about 5 minutes before egg mixture is combined)

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 baked pie shell

Cool Whip topping or Heavy Whipping Cream

Unsweetened Chocolate


-Mix together milk, water, and nutmeg in double boiler on low heat (or a regular pan on very low heat)

-In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until light in color, then add in salt and sugar.

-Pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture (making sure to do it gradually, a little at a time).

-Return mixture to double boiler.

-Cook until mixture resembles a fairly thick cream and coats back of spoon.

-Remove from heat and add gelatin which has been soaking in cold water for about 5 minutes.

-Add vanilla into mixture.

-Let mixture cool completely

-When mixture is cooled completely, beat remaining egg whites until peaks form.

-Fold stiffly beaten egg whites into mixture, carefully.

-Pour mixture into baked pie shell and set in fridge for a few hours.

– Before serving, cover with cool whip and top with shavings of unsweetened chocolate.


Believe me. The time it takes to make this is worth every minute,…

13 Responses to “Grandma Ruth’s Chocolate Sundae Pie”

  1. Rachael Says:

    Excellent job on this glorious post. I didn’t know Grandpop proposed after he ate the pie – lol! One correction…they were married for over 30 years! Miss you!

  2. brittyj Says:

    wait, so the only chocolate in the chocolate sundae pie is what’s grated on top? that’s misleading! but it still looks delicious and i want it.

  3. lydia Says:

    Yeah, I know Britt,…it’s always been misleading. My family has always been confused as to why it’s called Chocolate Sundae Pie, when all it is is a bunch of chocolate shavings. People always get disappointed when they see it’s not chocolate, but once they taste it they are once again appeased.:)

    Ha ha…:)

  4. CaraSanta Says:

    Yeah i was suprised when i saw the ingredients…where’s all the chocolate? I want to eat that pie. and i want to make it. but i want to eat it first.
    hilarious story! miss you.

  5. ReAnnon Says:

    I love you and your Chocolate Sundae Pie. I cant wait to make it. I read about this book sale in San Francisco the other day, and I think we should go next year… Ill send you some more info later. Come and visit me so you can rub my belly.

  6. Happy New Year! « Lydia’s Cozy Corner Says:

    […] Coast was a day full of baking with my precious Grandmom Ruth; the creator of the most glorious, Chocolate Sundae Pie.  My sister (those are her hands pouring the Sundae Pie mixture in the double boiler) and I […]

  7. Jolene Near Says:

    I can’t believe I found this recipe!!! My husband’s grandmother used to make it for family get-togethers and we all loved it. I was just sick when we moved and the movers lost a box with my recipe box in it. I’ve been searching for this for years. Grandma passed away several years ago and I thought the recipe was lost forever. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this and, the pictures are beautiful. One thing, I don’t remember putting in the beaten egg whites. Our version was the same, just more custard like. I can’t wait to make it again!

  8. george babcock Says:

    my mother used to make this pie on special occasions, such as my sister’s and my birthdays, my mother passed away and we lost the recipe, i’ve been searching and asking friends for years if they ever heard of this pie, my friend suggested i try the internet, and sure enough i found the exact recipe. it is by far the best tasting ever. thank you,

  9. lydia Says:

    WOW! I am so, so happy you found the recipe then! It is SO delicious and TRULY a memory for me growing up! Hope you enjoy baking it as much as I do!:)

  10. Stevie Byram Says:

    Interesting, thank you! I spent my childhood in Yorkshire in the UK, and I’ve been trying to find a recipe for this delicious pie I remember eating all the time, but can’t remember what we called it!!! Do you know any famous pie recipes from Yorkshire?

  11. Tammy Schaefer Says:

    This is a family favorite for us as well. I tried a shortcut of doing the cooking in the microwave and had the same results.



  12. Ricky Magers Says:

    My Mother made a very similar pie. Her recipe made two pies.
    Louise Magers Chocolate Sundae Pie.

    Seperate 5 eggs. Place yellows in double boiler and beat until light in color. Add to yellows 1 can of carnation milk and 1/2 cup of sugar. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Cook until mixture will coat a spoon. Remove from heat add one package of knox gelatin that has been mixed with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Let mixture cool completely. Meanwhile beat egg whites until stiff adding 3 tablespoons of sugar while beating. Fold egg whites into mixture.
    Pour filling equally into two pie shells. Place in fridge for few hours. Prior to serving top with heavy whipped cream or cool whip and top with shavings of unsweetened chocolate or sprinkle unsweetened cocoa.

  13. Lex Says:

    My great Nan made this pie, and she was from England! This was my favourite pie that she made ( she made several pies every holiday.) The year she died, everyone searched her home for the “Chocolate sundae pie” recipe and couldn’t find it. Anyways, for years people have been trying to make a similar pie, and this year it was my turn to host thanksgiving! (I live in Canada) I served it yesterday to my grandfather and all his sisters and they cried. They said it was just like Great Nan’s and we spent the whole day remembering her. So, thank you! It seems like such a small thing, a pie, but it is so much more then that! It’s memories, of your family and mine, and I just wanted to thank you.

    Much love to you and your family,
    From the Great White North!

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