HAPPY NATIONAL PIE DAY! How to make a chess pie

by Sandy Pollock

Happy National Pie Day!

Lord have mercy, I love my mom’s baking. I am always in awe of her ability to either have something delicious going into or coming out of the oven at the perfect time!

This chess pie is THE pie of my childhood. I have no idea where the recipe came from, but it is the recipe she’s always used and it is the recipe I love.

Chess pies are also known as pantry pies because most people would have had all the ingredients needed on hand (these days, not many people keep buttermilk, but that’s about all you will need to grab at the store). Chess pie is a super versatile pie and can really take on lots of great flavors, so get creative and experiment! Some popular variations include lemon chess pie, chocolate chess pie, and various fruit chess pies. (Let us know any favorites in the comments.) Though these variations are great, I am a chess pie purist, and prefer my mom’s classic recipe below.

I love this pie so much! Make it and then eat it with your face.

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Before we can start on the filling, we gotta make some super great pie dough! Easy easy easy.

Pie Dough

1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, well beaten

1 tablespoon white vinegar

5 tablespoons ice-cold water

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In a food processor, pulse together the shortening, flour, and salt until it’s the consistency of sand.

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Add the egg and vinegar to the food processor and pulse. Add ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in the bowl

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Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and form the dough into a ball. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

You will only need half of the dough for this recipe, so wrap well and freeze the extra dough for up to 3 months (if wrapped well).

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After an hour, take half of the chilled dough ball and roll out to a 12″ circle.

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Line the inside of a pie dish with the dough and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.

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Time for the pie filling!!!

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Chess Pie

1 pie crust, uncooked (recipe above)

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornmeal

3 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

½ cup buttermilk

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In a large bowl…

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mix…

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All ingredients…

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until…

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well blended. 

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Pour the creamy filling into the waiting pie crust.

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Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until the top has crusted over and is a golden brown color.

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It will be difficult to wait, but let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes to allow pie to set-up completely.

pie

Pie Dough

1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, well beaten

1 tablespoon white vinegar

5 tablespoons ice-cold water

In a food processor, pulse together the shortening, flour, and salt until it’s the consistency or sand.

Add the egg and vinegar to the food processor and pulse. Add ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.

Remove dough from food processor. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  You will only need half of the dough for this recipe, so wrap well and freeze the extra dough for up to 3 months (if wrapped well).

Chess Pie

1 pie crust, uncooked (recipe above)

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornmeal

3 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

½ cup buttermilk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Pour mixture into an uncooked pie shell.

Cook for 50-55 minutes or until the top of the pie has formed a crust and has become golden brown.

Allow pie to cool for at least 20 minutes to allow pie to cool and set-up completely.

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