Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chess Pie


For those of you from the north, chess pie is an old southern favourite and it's delicious! I don't know why it's well known in the south and not so much up here. It's not like pecan pie, where the pecans are grown there and sold in huge bags, cheaply, at the side of the road. There is nothing in a chess pie that everyone doesn't have in their kitchen.

It's a new discovery for us, sort of. I grew up in the south and my dad used to buy chess pies a few times a year from Mississippi State Univ, along with their edam cheese balls, but I had forgotten all about them until recently, many decades later. It just hit me one day when I was thinking about waxing cheese balls - "Chess Pie!".

I Googled it and found the actual Mississippi State chess pie recipe online. I gave it to my husband.

I don't do a lot of actual cooking around here. I experiment a lot and play around some with recipes and DIY stuff. I do some gluten free baking and usually make the muffins, but I'm not the "cook". Hubby is, and he is marvelous at it! He's the best natural cook I have ever known, so I gave him the recipe.

He played with it a lot, making it several times over and over again. Looking up various other recipes online and comparing them all, adding ingredients and taking away others. After many chess pies that were not up to his standards (many were delicious anyway) he came up with the perfect recipe.

Most chess pie recipes out there are runny. There is a lot of discussion on how to prevent this out on the 'net. Hubby has perfected it. Preheating the ingredients, actually cooking some of them, is the key.

Here is his recipe with directions:

Chess Pie Perfected
1/4 lb butter or hard margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon yellow corn meal
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 eggs, beaten

Melt butter, add sugar and vinegar. Bring this to a boil, stirring constantly. Mix together the eggs, salt and vanilla. Add the hot butter mix to the egg mix and beat well. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 325F for 40 minutes.

Serve cold or hot. Personally, I like it hot, about 1/2 hour out of the oven, with whipped cream on it.

It's so simple! I could not believe that one of the most delicious pies I have ever eaten has only these simple ingredients in it! The top of the pie cooks to a lovely golden brown, sort of like creme brulee and the flavour is fantastic!

Chess pie is reminiscent of butter tarts, but so much better! It would be nice with pecans in it, or raisins, if you like them in butter tarts, but it's just fine without either!