Magpie Artisan Pies’ Chocolate Coffee Cinnamon Pecan Pie

Co-owner/general manager Holly Ricciardi

Facing a case of career burnout about five years ago, Holly Ricciardi chose to chomp on a novel pursuit, taking a hiatus from graphic design endeavors to attend The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Never intending to let the culinary curriculum prove the inspiration for starting a new vocation, she soon felt compelled to consider the benefits of being bold and has since won over South of South residents and guests as the overseer of Magpie Artisan Pies.

“When my year of schooling was done, I wanted to see what could come of my education, and I recall reading an article by a writer in California, and, in it, he said pies would be the next big thing to replace cupcakes,” the Drexel Hill resident said. “‘Pie,’ I thought, ‘Who thinks about pie’? That question was great motivation.”

Ricciardi, 44, set her sights on a Philadelphia location, believing one would be a better boon to her business aspirations than a spot in Delaware County would. Opening in 2012, Magpie Artisan Pies has joined what the proprietor called a commercial “boom” for South Street and adjacent blocks, and she has reveled in receiving reactions to the chemical reactions of her creations’ contents.

“The response has exceeded my expectations,” Ricciardi, preparing for the nonstop rush toward Thanksgiving, said of operations at the inviting establishment, with regularly sold-out classes complementing the daily traffic. “Considering that I saw my Art Institute studies as just a form of continuing education, I’m really glad that I put so much belief into this process.”

Magpie Artisan Pies’ patrons will never dine on disappointment thanks to a seasonal menu highlighted by Sweet and Savory selections. Ricciardi chose to share the recipe for her Chocolate Coffee Cinnamon Pecan Pie, one of the former options, for this week’s space.

“I have come to think of it as an adult candy bar,” she said. “Everything meshes together well to give you a really nice treat.”


1 single-crust flaky pie dough

1 cup of light corn syrup

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

3 eggs

1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of table salt

1–1/2 cups of pecan halves

3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center.

On a floured surface, roll the dough to form a 13-inch circle, and fit the result into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute the edges, and chill.

In a large bowl, whisk the corn syrup and brown sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, and add the eggs one at a time, beating until they form a smooth, foamy mixture.

Add the espresso powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk together until the mixture is smooth and combined. Layer the pecan halves and the chocolate on the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling over the pecans and the chocolate. Bake the pie for 15 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350, and bake for another 22 to 25 minutes or until the pie has puffed (the middle and the edges should be fairly evenly puffed), is beautifully browned, and no longer jiggles when gently shaken. SPR

Co-owner/general manager Holly Ricciardi

Magpie Artisan Pies

1622 South St.

Owners: Holly and Greg Ricciardi

Opened: 2012

267–519–2904 •

Photos by Tina Garceau