RECIPE: Chess Pie


Chess pie is an absolutely out of this world southern dessert. The filling is a cornmeal custard, which gives it an interesting texture and a complexity beyond just sweetness. It gets a slightly carmelized top that makes it feel decadent. The best part about it? It is made of things that you probably already have just sitting around. So, pour up a glass of sweet tea, put on some John Prine, and let’s get started.

PIE CRUST:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup butter, cubed

  • 1/4 cup ice cold buttermilk

FILLING:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grits

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup whole fat buttermilk

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 stalk raw vanilla bean, split open and scraped

  • Juice of 1/4 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. First start on your pie crust. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Slowly add butter to the mix, cutting it in with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Do not overwork.

  3. When butter is mixed in and about the size of peas, slowly sprinkle in buttermilk, one teaspoon at a time. Dough should still be crumbly, but stick together when pinched.

  4. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Place in plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator for an hour.

  5. Take pie crust out of the fridge, roll it out on a floured table and place in 10 inch pie pan.

  6. Blind bake your pie crust by filling with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 minutes until somewhat golden in color. Take out of the oven and put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

  7. Prepare your filling. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add wet ingredients and whip until smooth.

  8. Add mixture to your par-baked crust.

  9. Bake at 325° for about 55 minutes. Pie filling should be set and jiggle only slightly.

  10. Cool in the refrigerator for an hour. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!


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