My husband absolutely LOVES chess pie. I’d heard about it practically from the time we got married but it took me years to find the recipe. The first one I ever made was good, he said, but not exactly like he remembered it. Of course, I went and lost that recipe, and over the years, have searched and searched for one that would work. It really was somewhat unfair to him though, as I had no idea what I was looking for. I’d never had it.
Not long ago, I started the search up again, because I found an absolutely awesome pie crust recipe and had to use it for something. In doing so, I found THE recipe, apparently. My husband was beyond thrilled and I had to make it two days in a row <smile!>
It wasn’t an easy find, however, so I thought it my duty to record it and pass it along. Authentic chess pie HAS to have vinegar and meal, or it just won’t turn out right. I found untold recipes, and they all seemed like they’d make good pies, but it wasn’t until I found this one that I found something my family was literally drooling for. Besides, with my track record for losing recipes, I figured I’d better get it somewhere I wouldn’t lose it again!
I’ll also add that awesome pie crust recipe as well, below, so just keep scrolling for that.
Warning: this pie is INCREDIBLY rich and sweet! 🙂
OLD FASHIONED CHESS PIE:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 TBS cornmeal
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 TBS vinegar
- 1 unbaked 9″ pie shell
Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add in eggs, meal, and evaporated milk, mixing well. Finally, add vinegar, mix well, and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Now, there are some tips I’ll give you up front for this pie. If you’re NOT new to pie baking, especially “eggy” ones, then you’ll already know these. But for anyone like me, who wasn’t too sure, it will come in handy…
First of all, it’s best to use a deep dish crust. This pie puffs up during baking and can boil over on you. At any rate, it’s also best to put the pie tin on a cookie sheet as well. In the event anything does boil over the tin, the cookie sheet will catch it and won’t make a mess in your oven.
Secondly, at the end of the cooking time, when you pull this pie out of the oven, it will look as though it’s not done. I pulled it out and the center was still jiggly and it would have been easy to stick it back in and overcook it, but thankfully, I didn’t. So if it looks undercooked at the end of an hour, pull it out anyway, and just make sure to let it sit and cool for at least a half hour before cutting.
Now for the crust recipe:
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 5-7 TBS ice water
Mix flour and salt and then cut in the shortening and butter together. Be careful not to overwork the dough which will reduce flakiness.
Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, until dough just holds together.
Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also wrap one to freeze if your pie doesn’t call for two crusts. It will also keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
On a floured board, roll dough out in a circle a couple of inches larger than your pie pan. To avoid stretching dough, roll from the center outwards. Lift rolling pin up and off the dough, instead of rolling backwards, to prevent bringing the dough back towards the center.
Use a spatula if the dough sticks to the board at all, rolling or folding it as it comes up. Simply unroll or unfold it into the pie tin and work the sides up as you wish.
*My advice, concerning the dough – it tends to work better if you leave it in the fridge overnight and then set it out to bring it almost to room temperature. Work it carefully, as all crust dough’s have a tendency to split, which – while it doesn’t affect the flavor – can cause all kinds of undue stress, if you’re anything like me.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by, I always appreciate it. Have a blessed day, and remember to SMILE!