Chess Pie is another pie born out of desperation. It’s simple in ingredients, but so so good. It’s very sweet, so a little goes a long way. Made mostly of milk, sugar, and eggs, but with the addition of cornmeal it’s another variation on a custard pie. It’s been a staple of southern kitchens for a couple hundred years and us westerners have been missing out.
There are several different stories of how this pie got its name, but from my research it seems that the most accurate one may be that it got its name from chestnut flour, which used to be used in place of cornmeal.
But regardless of where its name came from, this is a delicious pie that I think you need to make for Thanksgiving this year. You won’t regret it.
- Pastry for single-crust pie (9-inch)
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out pastry for crust to 1/8-inch circle. Place in pie pan, trim edges, and flute as desired. Set aside.
- Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together.
Add eggs and an additional 3/4 cup of sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, remaining sugar and milk until no lumps remain.
Add milk mixture, cornmeal, and vanilla to the filling and mix until combined.
Pour filling into pie crust.
Place pie into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Loosely place aluminum foil over the entire pie and continue baking for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the pie is set. Pie will only jiggle slightly when it has set.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Recipe adapted from Pear Tree Kitchen.