Chess Pie

If you happen to’ve by no methodology heard of chess pie earlier than, don’t concern, you haven’t been residing at nighttime. You’ve simply appropriate-looking grown up exterior of the South, the place chess pie is ubiquitous.

I spotted about chess pie in my first job out of school, by a coworker who grew to become internet hosting a Southern-themed picnic. “Invent a chess pie. Right here’s the recipe,” and I grew to become bent. I’ve been making the on a regular basis pie ever since. The chess pie is rather like most custard pies, candy and wealthy with eggs, nonetheless with a small texture attributable to the addition of the cornmeal.

Lastly, chess pie grew to become genuinely one among the primary recipes that assign my weblog on the process. I obtained a pie contest for a blackberry and lemon chess pie, which grew to become then featured on Bon Appetit’s house.


Chess pie is a pantry staple pie, made with complete pantry substances that may additionally moreover be stage to in most Southern kitchens. It is an egg custard-basically primarily based sugar pie, with the addition of a diminutive little bit of little bit of vinegar and cornmeal.

Cornmeal is vital to distinguishing chess pie from different pies like sugar pie, vinegar pie, and pecan pie. If it doesn’t embody cornmeal, even a diminutive little bit of bit, it’s not a simply appropriate-looking chess pie nonetheless an on an everyday basis custard pie.


There are lots of theories about the place the title originated. Some guess it’s a bastardization of cheese pie which seems to be similar to it, regardless of the reality that it tastes totally diversified.

Others mediate it will additionally attain from the reality that Southern kitchens generally like an awfully specific fragment of furnishings referred to as a “pie secure” or “pie chest” the place pies disappear to frigid and be saved. Chess pie grew to become so long-established and easy to assign that it grew to become the predominant pie that regarded in these pie chests, and the title “chest pie” advanced to “chess pie.”

However my favorite idea is the title took place from the foundation that the matriarch of the household could be baking pies, and her husband and household would on an on an everyday basis basis ask what type of pie it grew to become. “It’s jes’ pie,” grew to become her pissed off resolution, which finally morphed into, “It’s chess pie.”


It is in all probability you may fetch diversified recipes for chess pie floating referring to the online the place the filling has wherever from 1 teaspoon of cornmeal to 1/2 cup of cornmeal.

I resolve for a 1/4 cup with this recipe, as it’s ample cornmeal to assign texture, abet with the thickening of the pie, and lend delicate corn mannequin and sweetness, nonetheless not relatively rather a lot to be distracting or overly gritty.

Use with out reference to cornmeal you might probably even like gotten obtainable, regardless of the reality that stoneground yellow cornmeal is susceptible and most progressively historic. White cornmeal is moreover swish to make exhaust of, regardless of the reality that it doesn’t like as pronounced a susceptible cornmeal mannequin. I generally clutch far off from blue cornmeal, as the colour isn’t principally essentially the most gorgeous with this sort of pie, nonetheless if coloration isn’t a area for you or it’s all you might probably even like gotten obtainable, it will work.


Chess pie is a simple, simple recipe. Nonetheless, there are a couple of options and tips that may provide help to assign an kindly higher chess pie.

  • Kick once more the pie dough earlier than time: Kick once more the pie dough for a acceptable hour earlier than rolling it out. This permits the flour to completely hydrate from the water, and for the gluten to take a seat down assist, making it extra simple to roll out the dough. It moreover lets the butter kick once more and harden, which ends in a flakier crust.
  • As quickly as rolled kick once more the pie dough over once more: As quickly as you’ve rolled out and fitted the dough into the pan, stick it assist inside the fridge for fifteen minutes, simply appropriate-looking ample time to pre-heat the oven. Chilling the dough over once more allows the gluten to leisure, which methodology a lot much less shrinkage and slumping of the dough. It moreover chills the butter over once more, to abet with flakiness.
  • Par-bake the crust: You don’t want to blind bake the crust totally, nonetheless baking it for 5 minutes with pie weights in it, then three to 4 minutes with out the weights allows the crust to fetch a soar originate up on the crust baking. If you happen to pour the filling into an unbaked pie crust, you slip the danger of soggy crust. Par-baking the crust prevents this.
  • Bake except the dwell is golden brown and the middle doesn’t wiggle anymore. This pie is gorgeous forgiving; as quickly as the middle of the pie isn’t wiggling anymore, you perceive it’s completed!
  • Quilt the crust edges: If the pie crust edges brown too speedy, simply appropriate-looking veil the sides with aluminum foil or a pie crust defend to cease it from burning because the custard filling continues to bake.
  • Chilly it totally: If you happen to decrease into the pie whereas it’s quiet heat, the filling obtained’t like time to position. Let the pie frigid totally earlier than chopping into it, that may additionally consequence in cleaner slices.


Switch earlier the fundamentals of chess pie and try a variation of this conventional recipe.

  • Lemon chess pie: Exchange the vinegar for lemon juice and add the zest of a lemon.
  • Orange chess pie: Exchange the vinegar for orange juice and add the zest of an orange.
  • Coconut chess pie: Add one cup of toasted coconut flakes to the filling and exhaust coconut milk rather than the milk.
  • Chocolate chess pie: Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the filling.


Sure! The excessive amount of sugar on this pie methodology it will clutch correctly. Retailer the pie in an hermetic container or wrapped in plastic wrap inside the fridge for up to a few days. Advise the pie to room temperature by inserting it on the counter for two hours earlier than serving.


Chess pie does freeze correctly. I indicate reducing the pie into specific particular person servings, then inserting the pie in an hermetic container, with objects of parchment paper preserving aside the pie slices to clutch them from freezing to 1 another. As quickly as frozen, simply appropriate-looking resolve as many slices as you need!


  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Rhubarb Custard Pie
  • Chiffon Pumpkin Pie
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Simple Chocolate Cream Pie
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Conventional Candy Potato Pie

Chess Pie Recipe

This conventional southern egg custard-basically primarily based dessert is made with complete pantry staples. The cornmeal inside the filling is vital to rising it a chess pie and never an on an everyday basis custard pie. It’s an easy pie to assign, nonetheless be apparent to assign the crust earlier than time so it will kick once more for the flakiest, most visually entertaining outcomes.


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup (175 g) all-motive flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) chilly unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice chilly water

For the filling:

  • 4 natty eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon all-motive flour
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon floor nutmeg, elective


1 Invent the crust: Invent the crust by inserting the flour, salt and sugar in a meals processor. Pulse a couple of circumstances to mix. Add the cubed butter. Pulse 5 – 6 circumstances, except the butter has been damaged down into pea-sized objects.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over the substances, then pulse over once more except the combination begins to take a look at like exiguous pebbles, roughly the scale of peas, and varieties a dough inside the occasion you press it alongside together with your fingers. If the combination is just too dry, add the extra 1 tablespoon of water. The dough ought to remain collectively when pressed, and never give association.

2 Make the dough correct right into a disk: Dump the dough onto a fraction of plastic wrap, then kind correct right into a spherical disk, about 1 path thick. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and kick once more inside the fridge for 1 hour or in a single day.

3 Roll out the dough: When the dough has chilled, roll it out to a 12-trail disk, and match correct right into a pie pan. Efficiently-kept the sides of the pie crust after which decoratively crimp the sides, urgent down onto the pan to be particular that the crust is anchored to the pan. Utter it assist inside the fridge for quarter-hour.

4 Preheat the oven: Whereas the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

5 Parbake the crust: As quickly because the crust has chilled, carve the underside of the crust with a fork. Utter a fraction of parchment paper over the chilly pie crust. Be particular you might probably even like gotten ample hanging over the sides to with out downside resolve away it later. Pour ceramic pie weights, dry beans, raw rice or pennies over the parchment-lined crust. Bake the pie crust for 5 minutes.

Use away the parchment paper lifting the weights in it and switch to a heatproof bowl or towel to frigid. Return the crust to the distinctive oven and bake uncovered for a further 3 to 4 minutes or except the dwell of the crust begins to take a look at dry. Don’t concern if the crust doesn’t uncover totally baked through. Use far off from the oven. House apart to frigid considerably.

6 Decrease oven warmth: Decrease the oven to 350°F.

7 Invent the filling: Actual right into a natty bowl add the eggs and salt. Using a fork, beat the eggs with the salt except uniform in coloration nonetheless don’t overbeat. You don’t want it to turn into too foamy, simply appropriate-looking ample to mix the egg whites and yolks.

Add the sugar, butter, milk, cornmeal, flour, vinegar, vanilla extract and nutmeg (if the utilization of). Combine with a balloon slip except the entire substances are blended.

Pour the filling into the crust after which fastidiously place the pie into the oven.

8 Bake the pie: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or except the middle of the pie not wobbles. Test the pie after half-hour of baking. If the crust is starting to brown too rather a lot, veil the crust with aluminum foil to cease burning.

9 Rest and assist: Use away the pie from the oven and let the pie frigid totally to room temperature earlier than serving.

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