Virginia Callicott’s Fudge Pie

Fudge Pie

This is a recipe with a history. But I’ll let Virginia, a friend of mine from St. Paul’s, tell it.

“Virginia Burns was the oldest sister of Minnie Pearl, Ophelia Colley Cannon, and just the most fun (I always thought she must have written some of her scripts). She was the French language cataloger at Vanderbilt Library when I worked there and we shared recipes. Ireland’s, a local restaurant across from the Joint University Library, was known for its Fudge Pie and that may have been where she got the recipe…but without pecans.

“Anyway, in the early 1970s, there was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society at one of the hotels in downtown Nashville called the Gourmet Gala. Duncan (Virginia’s husband) was at Cheekwood then and we were chosen as participants along with other more eminent couples. I chose to do the Fudge Pie because it was so easy. Each group had their own kitchen work space and appliances, but it was nerve-wracking to be slinging – and I sling – in front of people. One of the judges was Betty White, a friend of Dr. Lee Minton. Well, Betty’s plane was delayed and Lee brings her in a back way straight to our cubicle. She is starving so she picks up a fork and dives into the pie. Needless to say, we got no points for presentation!”

Don’t you just love that? A recipe with roots that go back to Betty White and Minnie Pearl’s sister. And if you have to ask who either of those people are, we will just have to have a conversation.

So, sadly for King Daddy and I, we discovered what I now consider to be Virginia’s recipe at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church bazaar last weekend. There’s a bake sale in conjunction with the bazaar and Virginia showed up with her Fudge Pie. And I bought it (basically most of the money we make at the bazaar is paying each other for stuff). I am not kidding you, this pie did not last for more than a day in our house. And the best part? You basically make the entire thing in a double boiler before putting it in the oven.

Virginia Callicott's Fudge Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Super easy and super yummy.
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 squares Bakers unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler. Cool slightly.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar and pecans.
  4. Pour the batter into a buttered, floured pie pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pie is set and tiny bubbles appear over the surface.



  1. Emily Callicott Boylan
    Emily Callicott BoylanReply
    September 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    My sister and I long fought over the last remaining slice of this pie growing up.
    P.S. Best served slightly warm with peppermint ice cream.

    • Catherine Mayhew
      Catherine MayhewReply
      September 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Oh, you are so right about the peppermint ice cream! I didn’t think of that, but the next time I make this pie I will definitely get some. Your mother is such a peach. I am also completely addicted to her bread and butter pickles.

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