Granny Foster’s Chess Pie

chess pie.jpg

My grandmother had a least 10 hand written recipes in her recipe book for chess pie, some dating back to 1927. On one of them she wrote in her notes to the side of this recipe “for a really rich pie, eliminate the milk and use all egg yolks.” I made several versions of the pies in her book but this one was my favorite

Makes one 9-inch pie / serves 8-10

1 9-inch par-baked Pate Brisee Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk, room temperature

3 tablespoons corn meal

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


            Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the prepared piecrust on a rimmed baking sheet.

Beat the sugar and butter together until soft and creamy in the bowl of an electric mixer or in a stand mixer filled with a paddle.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Slowly add the buttermilk, cornmeal, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and stir to mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and place in the bottom rack of the oven to bake 35 minutes, move to the top rack, rotate the pan and continue to bake 10-15 minutes more, until set around the edges but not puffed and slightly loose in the center.  Let sit about 1 hour before slicing. Serve warm or room temperature with lightly sweetened whip cream and fresh berries.




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