The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chess Pie Take 1

linder's picture

Chess Pie Take 1

Okay, so I searched for chess pie recipes and came up with one that looked plausible.  It seemed very simple, beat eggs, sugar, cornmeal, butter, buttermilk, salt and vanilla extract together, place in an uncooked pie shell.  Simple!  Bake for 15 mins at 375F reduce to 350F bake another 20 mins.  Ha!

The pie was hardly cooked by then but the top was already browning, so I reduced the heat to 325F and baked for another 40 minutes, finally done.  It's cooling now on a wire rack -

It looks like a poorman's creme brulee. Does anyone have any experience with this type of pie?  Is this the way it should look (I have no idea, having never seen one.). I think next time I will beat the eggs well using the mixer instead of my trusty whisk.  I also will see if I can get the sugar better incorporated into the mixture.  Any other ideas? Here's the recipe -

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 T. melted butter

1 T. white cornmeal (I used light ground yellow cornmeal)

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, melted butter, cornmeal, buttermilk, salt and vanilla.  Blen well and pour into pie shell.  Bake 375F for 15 min.  lower heat to 350F bake an additional 20 min.

mimifix's picture

Your pie looks just like a chess pie. The original recipe time was not correct, but you handled it perfectly.  And sorry, they're not especially attractive, but they have  a niced sweet flavor.  Our bakery made lemon chess pies; I dressed them up with little cut-out sugar cookies around the edge and a thick coating of powdered sugar.

linder's picture


Thanks for the encouraging words.  My husband and I each had a piece after dinner and WOW, is it sweet!  I think the lemon chess pie would be a nice way to balance the sweet.  OK, so now I'm ready for my father-in-law's visit - I'll make chess pie for him for New Year's dinner.  My husband wants the sweet potato pecan pie I usually make from a recipe by Paul Prudhomme.  Me, I like plain ol' sweet potato pie.  Mmmmm, pie!

SylviaH's picture

Your pie and crust look great.  

When I bake any type custardy pie I like to pre-bake the shell a helps to make a nice bottom crust.  Usually about 10 minutes is enough..just enough so it doesn't start to brown but has formed a nice crusty top.

Happy Holidays,


EvaB's picture

says custard pies should be baked at 450F for 10 minutes then 50 minutes at 350F, and I've never had one over bake or burn.

When I make my currant tarts which are basically a custard mix with currants added, I beat the sugar and eggs together until very light then add the melted butter, and vanilla flavouring, then mix in the currants, so doing the same with the eggs and sugar and then adding the rest of the ingredients as listed and beating together would be good, and I use a mixer not a whisk, I find the sugar doesn't mix in as well if you are trying to mix by hand.

Will have to try the pie as I've never made one from just custard, always had something else in the mix, persimmon, pumpkin, or sweet potato pulp.

linder's picture

My father-in-law left on the plane back to Japan this past Friday.  He REALLY enjoyed the buttermilk chess pie.  He said it was just like his sister, Bessie, used to make.  I'm very happy.  We had a great visit with him and his wife, Yoshie.  She makes the best tempura ever.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed info and encouragement on this thread.