A Southern dessert classic, this chess pie is loaded with pecans. Serve it with Texas-size dollops of whipped cream.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare Pastry for a Single-Crust Pie; set aside.
For filling, in a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornmeal, flour, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Stir in pecans.
Pour filling into pastry-lined pie plate. Bake about 1 hour or until filling is set and crust is golden. If crust begins to brown too fast, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and cover edge of crust with foil. Cool pie on a wire rack. (Filling will fall slightly during cooling.) Chill within 2 hours. If desired, serve with whipped cream. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Cover and chill cooled pie for up to 24 hours.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle additional cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over mixture until all of the dough is moistened. Form the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a 12-inch circle. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired.