Chess Pie

Chess Pie

Chess pie is a classic southern dessert that has a rich, sweet, and custardy filling made primarily from sugar, eggs, and butter, with a small amount of cornmeal or flour added for texture. The filling is usually poured into a pie crust and baked until set, resulting in a smooth and dense texture with a slightly crunchy top.

There are many variations of chess pie, but the most common flavors include vanilla, lemon, and chocolate. Some recipes may also include additions such as buttermilk, vinegar, or cream cheese to add tanginess and depth to the flavor.

The origin of the name “chess pie” is not entirely clear, but there are several theories. Some say that the name comes from the phrase “just pie,” which was later corrupted to “chess pie.” Others suggest that the name comes from the fact that the pies were traditionally stored in pie chests or “chesses.”

Chess pie is a beloved dessert in the southern United States, where it is often served at holidays, family gatherings, and church suppers. It is a simple and classic dessert that is easy to make and can be adapted to suit a variety of tastes and preferences.


PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes cooling time)


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornmeal, flour, and salt.
  3. Stir in the melted butter, eggs, milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until set in the center.
  5. Allow the pie to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Serve the chess pie with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • For a sweeter pie, you can add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the filling.

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