NC Pie Series:What comes at the end is always remembered: the goodnight kiss, the famous last words, the three-point shot at the buzzer, the homemade pie following a fine meal.
When Van Eure’s father, Thad, passed away suddenly in 1988, she dropped everything to run the family business, the famed Angus Barn in Raleigh. The place seats almost 1,000 people, who flock there for juicy grilled steaks and chocolate chess pie. Van’s mother, Alice, developed the pie recipe in the late ’60s with the help of waitress Betty Shuggart, who worked at Angus Barn for more than 50 years. Now, the restaurant makes at least 100 chocolate chess pies per day, and serves them warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. You can also buy one to take home, or ship a pie anywhere in the country.
Van herself doesn’t eat them, not anymore. She still remembers a six-week stint helping out in the kitchen. Thad noticed that something was off with the pies — they were missing their signature crackly, crusty top. Van had to figure out why. “Every day, I took one to his office and we’d taste it,” she remembers. Again, again, again! One of the tricks, it turned out, was how long you left the pie in the oven to cool. “Finally,” she says, “we got it perfect.”