Here’s how to make Chess Pie

Here @ Home learns from a professional how to make this southern classic
Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:00 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Natalie & Catherine set out to find out more about Chess Pie, which is a popular dessert in the American South that originated from England. It is a custard-style pie with a crisp browned topping.

The two head over to visit with local baker Chassidy Tuell, owner of “Takes the Cake” bakery.

Chassidy shows Natalie & Catherine how to easily make this decadent dessert. See the full recipe below. For more information on Chassidy and her bakery, visit her website here.

Chess Pie 1 prepared pie crust (homemade or store-bought, unbaked)

Filling: 1/2 cup salted butter, browned or melted 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 Tbsp cornmeal 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup whole milk 1 Tbsp white vinegar 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 large eggs

Roll pie crust out about 12-inches then roll up around rolling pin and transfer to a standard pie plate. Unroll and shape into pie plate and decorate edges as desired. Chill until crust is firm, at least 1 hour.

Browned butter Melt butter in a medium, light-colored skillet. Let cook, stirring frequently until it has a nutty aroma and has browned (careful not to burn it, it should be an amber brown). Pour into a dish and let cool to room temp, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While butter is cooling, bake the pie crust.

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line chilled pie shell with foil or parchment and fill it with pie weights (I like to use dried beans for this purpose). Place pie on a cookie sheet or stoneware and bake 12-13 minutes. Remove crust from oven, then remove weights and liner.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl beat eggs lightly to blend. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together granulated sugar, cornmeal, flour and salt. Pour in browned butter, milk, vinegar and vanilla to sugar mixture and blend. Add eggs and mix until well combined. Pour into prepared crust and bake on baking sheet in preheated oven until edges are set but center just wiggles slightly, about 42-48 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Store pie in refrigerator.

Flaky Pie Pie Crust

2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour

1/2 Tbsp kosher salt

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup ice water

3/4 c + 2 Tbsp shortening

Starting with very cold ingredients, mix all dry ingredients in food processor or stand mixer. Add the pieces of very cold butter and shortening and pulse until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add water a bit at a time, pulsing as you add, until mixture has curds and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Do not pulse until it forms a ball – you’ve mixed it too much! Wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours, then roll out on lightly floured board.