Did you know that National Pie Day is January 23rd? Yep, yesterday. Well, better late than never. I’m interrupting my normally scheduled programming (as if I have one beyond trying to give you one fun main dish every week) to post this Easy Classic Chess Pie. Honestly, I made it around Thanksgiving, or was it Christmas? But that doesn’t matter because this pie is excellent at any time of the year.
I particularly like it right now, smack dab in the middle of January when so little is in season. And of course, it’s perfect in the fall with its autumn colors. And you just can’t go wrong in the summer when this pie is so cool and refreshing in the heat.
About Easy Classic Chess Pie:
You can always recognize a Chess Pie, even though there are many variations. It always has a hallmark translucent filling and just a bit of ever so slightly crispity crust that forms on the top. And it’s always sugary and sweet with its sturdy custard filling. There’s really nothing like it. It really needs no accompaniment, but I added a little whipped cream. A few berries are always a nice touch.
No one knows for sure how this pie got its name and there’s some speculation. My guess is that since it’s English in origin, the whole “pie morphed over the centuries” from Cheese Pie is as good as any. I’ve actually been wanting to try some of those old pies from England, Cheese Pie, Onion Pie, Potato Pie. But in the meantime, this is a fun little informative article with a couple of recipes (none of which I used.)
I have no idea where this recipe came from. If you know, comment! All I have is a handwritten card from our little family’s first Thanksgiving after my divorce (back in 1992) when I could barely put food on the table let alone dessert. And that’s another plus, this pie is downright cheap to make! And that’s why it’s near and dear to my heart!
Making Easy Classic Chess Pie:
This is truly one of those recipes that is so easy, it’s barely cooking! First of all, use any pie crust you want, a single one since the crust is only on the bottom. Just make sure it’s a 9″ pan you’re cooking in. Then prebake or “blind bake” the crust. That’s really something that should be done with every custard pie if you don’t want the crust soggy or slick. If you need to read up on how to prebake, see my post on How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust.
To make the pie, just stir together the ingredients (except the eggs and the crust) then add the eggs and stir again. Pour it into the pie crust and bake. After about 10 minutes, you’ll want to shield the crust, more information on that just below.
A couple of little hints: Try to time the pie so that when the crust comes out of the oven it’s filled while the crust is still warm. That makes it less likely the filling will separate from the crust.
And have a pie shield ready. Almost every custard pie I bake needs one, and you can use either a commercial one or a homemade one, Instructions on how to make a pie shield out of aluminum foil are on my post on the link above, How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust. If you don’t have a commercially made pie shield, it is so much easier to make a pie shield and use it than to try to lay strips of foil over the pie and risk marring your filling.
Saving Money on Easy Classic Chess Pie:
Stock up on eggs when they’re inexpensive, and watch for rock bottom pricing during Holiday weeks, especially holidays when brunch is often served. Sometimes they’re “free” with other purchases. Know the regular pricing in your area so you can know if it’s a great deal or not. Aldi has great pricing on a dozen, your Buyer’s club will, too, but you’ll need to buy a larger quantity.
The date on the container is a ‘buy’ date, and you can expect eggs to last a good six weeks past that date. Refrigerate right away and never store in the door; eggs keep best in a colder part of the refrigerator, in their own box. (Then put your partially used vegetables in the door where you’ll see them and remember they need to be used ASAP.
As far as your basic baking goods, a lot of the same advice applies. Stock up on a low, especially around holidays, in enough quantity, to last to the next great sale. The idea is to never run out and have to pay full price. Always freeze flour products for three days when they come into the home to prevent the possibility of any “peskies.”
I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we have!Print
Easy Classic Chess Pie
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 1 pie 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: English
- 1 single (not double) pie crust, blind baked (see instructions)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
To Blind Bake the Pie Crust:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim edge and crimp as desired. Line pastry with aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake for four to five minutes or until set, which is usually when the crust is showing a little bit of color and the crust doesn’t pull away when the foil is removed. Remove weights and foil. If crust isn’t set bake for one or two minutes longer. After foil is removed, bake several more minutes until golden. Crust will not be completely cooked through at this point.
Remove from oven and turn oven down to 350 degrees F.
To make the Pie:
Stir together sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt, melted butter, milk, white vinegar, and vanilla extract until blended. Add eggs, and stir well before pouring into piecrust. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil or pi shield after 10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm, room temperature or chilled. If desired, garnish with powdered sugar, whipped cream and/or berries.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
Keywords: cornmeal, custard, Desserts, Pie
I’ll be sharing my pie at Fiesta Friday #312, where I am co-hosting this week. I’ll also be sharing at the Weekend Potluck #413 at South Your Mouth & What’s For Dinner Sunday at the Lazy Gastronome. Be sure to stop by if you’d like to catch up on your favorite bloggers in one place every week