A super simple, classic southern pie, this Chess Pie recipe doesn’t get much easier, and it’s a sweet-tooths’ dream! This Chess Pie recipe produces an ultra sweet, rich, creamy, vanilla-kissed, mind-blowing dessert!
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This Chess Pie… the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I have a confession: I didn’t understand what that phrase meant until like a year ago! I’d heard it before, but only vaguely and without context, and I’d never used it myself. I had to stop to think about it. Then I had a lightbulb moment and it clicked.
Well, there is no better way to summarize this Chess Pie though than to say that the whole is really much greater than the sum of its parts. Each individual ingredient is very basic and common, nothing extraordinary. But combined altogether = magic!
The ingredients are all common ingredients, easy to find, and you probably have them on hand already. Other than making a pie crust (or buying one, in my case), the filling is the easiest to make – whisk everything together, and that’s it. This Chess Pie is a cinch.
My uncle brought a Chess Pie to a family get-together a year or so ago, and while I’d heard of Chess Pie, and had it on my ‘Baking To-Do’ list, I’d never made one, or even tried it. One bite, and I was hooked.
He’s made his Chess Pie recipe with shortbread crusts and graham cracker crusts. For me, that sends this pie over-the-top in the sweetness department, but hey, I wanted you to know your options. I stick with a basic pastry crust.
This pie reminds me a lot of my Grandma’s Lemon Bars, but in pie form, and without lemon. The texture of the filling is so similar!
It actually makes me want to make a lemon version of this Chess Pie! (Update: I made a Lemon Chess Pie! Omg, it is 100% irresistible!!)
I recently made a Maple Chess Pie, and hooooooooly INCREDIBLE. That chess pie recipe is unbelievable. Kissed with the perfect amount of maple syrup and maple flavoring, and it almost takes on a brown butter note, even though it’s not made with brown butter.
Simple Classic Chess Pie Recipe
- 9 inch prepared refrigerated pie crust or your favorite pie crust recipe, prepared
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Arrange pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate, and crimp or scallop the edges.
- Line the pie crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are browned.
- Remove from heat, carefully remove parchment and pie weights, and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients (except powdered sugar).
- Pour into crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and center appears mostly set. It does not need to be completely set - it will set as it cools!
- Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Cut and serve.
Fun fact: pecan pie is a form of Chess Pie too! Here’s a few faves: Fireball Pecan Pie, Honey Pecan Pie, Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Pie, Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie, Orange Coconut Pecan Pie, and White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Pie. Enough ideas for ya?