RECIPE: Looking for: chess pie

nicole93089December 11, 2008

Hi all. I'd like to make a good old fashioned chess pie for an older gentleman (Southern) who works in my building. He is sweet and doesn't have much money. Before Thanksgiving, we were talking about pies and he wistfully said that chess pie is his all time favorite and you can never find it around here. He said it's kind of like pecan pie without the pecans. ANy one have a recipe like that? Thanks! I think it would make his Christmas.

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1/2 cup margarine (use stick margarine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 TBL corn meal
1 TBL vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
9" pie shell

In a saucepan, melt the margarine slowly & add sugar, corn meal, vinegar & vanilla. Add eggs, beaten but not frothy. Pour into unbaked pie shell & bake 40 minutes. Make strips of foil & put on the edges of the crust to prevent overbrowning.~~An Atlanta Tradition

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 4:19PM
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Here is a recipe I use for chess cake. It's not cake-like. The bottom turns into a thick cookie bar-like crust. Then the top is gooey, like a pie. I think my mom called it chess cake just because of the dish she put it in!

Chess Cake

1 yellow butter cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
1 eight oz pkg cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar

1. Mix cake mix with 1 egg using pastry blender. Add softened butter.
2. Press firmly into greased pan (13 x 9).
3. Mix remaining ingredients with mixer.
4. Smooth over cake mixture.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
6. Let stand 45 min before cutting.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Mine is similar to Ginger's. It's the recipe my mother used and the one I have made.

Chess pie
2 cups sugar
2 Tbl cornmeal
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup melted butter
Mix well and add
1 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

Mix well, pour into 9" unbaked pie shell and bake 325 for approximately 50 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Ooh, those sound good. Thank you! I think Ginger's and Glenda's recipes sound like what he described. The chess-cake sounds awesome too, think I'll save that recipe to try later on my own!

I have to say I'm intrigued by the vinegar and corn meal. I get the vinegar part, actually, but the corn meal? does it add texture? or does it just hold it together? Very interesting! Can't wait to try it, thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Chess Pie is a standard here in Louisiana. My recipe is similar to Glenda's.

The cornmeal adds a little dimension to the taste and helps with the little film that forms across the top when baking.

Delicious... how could anything that is basically butter, sugar and eggs be bad!!!.... BTW I'd recommend using real butter and not margarine in either of the recipes.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 11:04PM
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Glenda, thanks for the heads up. My recipe omitted "3 eggs, beaten" in the list of ingredients.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 4:57AM
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Thank you both. Can't wait to make it, sounds wonderful. Now I think I'll make 2 (one to give and one to keep :) )

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 3:41PM
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Hi all. Well, I made my first Chess pie. Two, actually. And while they were delicious, they were extremely wet and runny. I followed the directions to a T, but even after it had cooled overnight, it was liquid in the center. I refrigerated after that and it was still runny. What did I do wrong? might just be one of those things with no explanation, but thought I'd ask. Any ideas? thanks!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Nancy zone 6

I always have to bake mine a bit longer than my recipe says. I'd add about 10 minutes to the bake time.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 7:41PM
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Maybe your oven temperature is off?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:48AM
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I was afraid to add time, as the tops of the two pies were already a deep, dark golden color. Looked beautiful! :) And the oven is fairly new and is accurate. I bake frequently.

So I'm at a loss. I wonder if it was the eggs? maybe they weren't fresh? I just don't know, and it was a bummer.

thanks for the ideas though!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Nancy zone 6

I honestly think it is the baking time. My MIL's chess pies always were burnt looking on top, but tasted yummy. Try turning the oven off, but leave the pie in the oven an extra 10 minutes or so. Mine are also perfectly brown, but not "quite" done in the middle. I've just added time previously, but I recently baked lemon bars that I thought looked a bit jiggly in the middle. I just put them back in the oven without turning it back on. I think they stayed 20 minutes. They didn't get browner, but dried out a bit, turned out the best I had ever made.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Hmm, yeah maybe that's it. I did keep them in a few extra minutes, but maybe they just needed more time. I was just afraid of them burning and since I had never made them, didn't know what they should look like. They were pretty dark, though. I could always cover them loosely with foil while they are cooking more too. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 5:35PM
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