Chess Pie

May 4, 2020 Updated: May 4, 2020

Chess Pie

I’ve had this recipe for as long as I can remember. I’ve never considered it to be a “desperation” dessert because it’s so very rich and delicious.

Two popular variations are lemon and chocolate chess pie. The lemon version substitutes lemon juice and lemon zest for the cream and vinegar. The chocolate version omits the cornmeal and vinegar, and adds a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and another 1/4 cup of cream.

Makes one 9-inch pie

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

With a whisk or a fork, combine butter, sugars, and vanilla until well blended. Gently whisk in the eggs. Add cornmeal, milk or cream, and vinegar. Stir until smooth and pour into the pie shell.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue baking for 45 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve with whipped cream.