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!
To easily view all the blog recipes, follow along on Pinterest!
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.
Another one that I never totally understood was “can’t see the forest for the trees.” I get that now, but I just don’t like it. Why are things like that confusing to me??
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.
I’ve now also added some new Chess Pie recipes: Lemon Chess Pie, Chocolate Chess Pie, Coconut Chess Pie, and Pumpkin Chess Pie!
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?
I love the chess pie recipe I make it all the time taste really good like the old days when my grandmother used to make it thanks for the recipe
I’m so glad you like it! It’s become a favorite for me too. I was happy when my uncle introduced me to it. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback! 🙂
I’m going to try this question do u have recipe for diabetes
Unfortunately, I don’t. My uncle is diabetic though, and he is very good at making almost any dessert by diabetes-friendly. But I’m sorry that I don’t have more to offer you. Good luck!
Anne Kirkwood says
Thanks for posting this chess pie recipe. Like you my first taste of this pie was from the ones he brought home after traveling to Kentucky. While I’ve had some success replicating the flavor I have yet to figure out how to get the creamy silky consistency of the pies my uncle would bring home. Your recipe looks like his pie minus the powdered sugar. I can’t wait to try it later this week. If you can share any tips on how to make this type of pie creamy, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reminding me of my favorite uncle and my favorite pie!!😋
Creamy…. hmmm, I wish I knew! I think of this as sort of custard-like, and it’s definitely silky, luscious, smooth, rich. It’s AMAZING. Not grainy or anything. I don’t know if my first thought would be creamy, but I’d love to hear your thoughts if you try it! I wish I’d tried Chess Pie sooner in life… I always meant to! Thankfully, my own favorite uncle introduced me to it a few years ago.
I just used this recipe to make a Chocolate Chess Pie over the weekend, and it might be my favorite yet. Please let me know if you give this a whirl, and what you think of it! Thanks so much, Anne. 🙂
I made this pie last year and fell in love with it as well as my mom who has her own recipe for it. Made it again this year for Thanksgiving! The best chess pie I’ve ever had!
YAY! I’m so happy to hear that! I hope you had a great holiday!!