Mom-Mom Kolar's Chocolate Rum Pie

I inherited my grandmother's recipe binder after her passing and discovered a delicious chocolate rum pie recipe. Here's how to make it.

A slice of chocolate rum pie
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
1 9-inch pie

My grandmother didn't have a lot of rules to live by, but she did enforce one: no store-bought pie crusts. That made it hard for the non-bakers in the family (raises hand high!) to impress Mom-Mom with holiday desserts. I learned to bring cakes and cookies instead, always too afraid to attempt to make pie crust and fail.

After she died a few years ago, I inherited her binder full of recipes. Many are hand-written, some in a cursive script I've come to learn as her mother's. The majority of them were typed on a typewriter, likely the very one she taught me to use. And with any recipe collection that dates to the 1950s, there's a healthy number of magazine and newspaper clippings in addition to random pamphlets and Campbell's Soup-branded notecards.

By far the thickest section of Mom-Mom's recipe binder is the one labeled "BREAD/DESSERT." That's where she's filed away some of her most beloved pies—peach, strawberry, and pumpkin—as well as her questionable "Pineapple Millionaire" pie. It's also where I stumbled upon her hand-written chocolate rum pie recipe.


I can't remember her ever serving this pie to the kids' table—after all, the recipe calls for 1/3 cup of dark rum, which doesn't get cooked off—so of course I felt compelled to try it. When my sister and I were in elementary school, our family lived for a few years in the Caribbean, where Tortuga rum cakes were ubiquitous. We'd bring some back to the States anytime we flew home to our grandparents' house for the holidays. And so it felt like a fitting recipe to try for my first pie-baking experience.

Of course, I had to start by making my own pie crust. Mom-Mom swore by her Crisco crust, but I prefer a flakier one with butter as its main ingredient. While my pie crust didn't turn out aesthetically perfect as hers, I was proud to have nailed the flavor and texture. Following the cursive I recognized from all the letters and cards she sent me, the handwriting I still dearly miss reading, I followed Mom-Mom's steps for the filling.

The filling for this pie is easy peasy to make, and doesn't require any baking. Start with a good, homemade (if possible!) pastry shell and layer the rich chocolate-rum mixture with homemade whipped cream. Swirl it up to get a marble-like texture, chill and serve. It's simple enough for even a beginner baker to do, and decadent enough to impress any guests… or grandmothers.


For chocolate-rum filling

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • .3 cup dark rum

For whipped cream mixture

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked


  1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, gelatin, and salt in a sauce pan. Stir in milk and egg yolks. Cook and stir over low heat until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add chocolate pieces, and stir until melted. Add rum and stir until well combined. Chill until partially set, about 1 hour.

  2. Beat egg whites in a chilled glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

  3. To make whipped cream mixture, beat cream and vanilla extract in a chilled glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Layer the whipped cream and chocolate mixture into the pie shell. Swirl the top with a fork to marbelize.

  4. Chill pie in the refrigerator until firm, 1 to 2 hours.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

448 Calories
27g Fat
45g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 448
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 5g
Potassium 164mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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