Friday, May 13, 2011

Chess Pie...Old School


CHESS PIE

this could just be the surprise winner of the year.  
it figures...a good old classic like Chess Pie.

simple ingredients, simple flavors...

SIMPLY DELICIOUS !

what a fabulous, unique pie...naked with nothing on...


or...all dressed up for the party with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and toasted pecans. 
i made 2 of these in a week and they disappeared faster than any other dessert i've made all year...and i make a lot of desserts.


the beautiful cracked top is like a baked meringue cookie and the inside is a soft sweet melt in your mouth custard.


the name is a little odd because it has nothing to do with the game of chess...
i guess there are many controversies about the origin of the Chess Pie.
 it's a Southern specialty, but some say it came from England and evolved from a similar cheese tart...this being "cheese-less"...some say it was named from a piece of furniture that was common in the early South called a pie chest or pie safe (pies under lock and key?!)
or the one i like is the theory that it was originally called "just pie" because it was so simple and plain and the named morphed into "jess-pie"...or Chess pie.
i'm sure there's more theories out there.  i just grabbed a few from Wikipedia and What's cookin' America.


there are a few variations out there that add vanilla, brown sugar, four and or some cornmeal, but i wanted to go with the flat out basic - simple - easy...and you can't get any easier than this.  i'm even proud to admit i went for the store bought pie crust for the first try.  hey...this recipe calls for it.  don't be afraid to take the easy route...the crust is not the star of the show here.  it's all about the cracked meringue top along with the custardy sweet filling.  
i must add that the second pie was made with a crust from my in-house pastry chef, master pie crust maker...MOM...and it did push the pie over the top.  photos are of the store bought because the second one disappeared before i could take a shot.


4 things is all you'll need for 

AUNT MARY'S EASY CHESS PIE
recipe copied below and found at Tasty Kitchen submitted by Sweeteater

4 Tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 whole pie shell, frozen

cream the sugar and butter together
add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
pour into unbaked pie shell
bake at 350 F degrees for 35-40 minutes

cool completely before serving


19 comments:

Federica said...

mmmmmmmmmm...che delizia!!!!!!baci!

Heidi said...

I've heard of chess pie many times but I guess I've never stopped to really check out the recipe. There is only THREE ingredients in the filling? I can't even begin to imagine how that would taste. I would think at least a little vanilla extract or vanilla bean scrapings would be needed. Wow. It's looks like I just might have to try it because you have raved about it so much. I usually make my own crust but I do happen to have some frozen store bought crust in my freezer now! Hmmm?? This sounds exciting. I will post it on my blog if I decide to make it soon!

Thanks for sharing!

Jules and Ruby said...

Heidi...yeah, just 3 ingredients...i wanted to put vanilla or cinnamon or something, BUT i followed the recipe as is written. it's one of those weird wonders. i like those weird wonders. i hope you try it soon, let me know how it turns out

Aisha Jameel said...

wow! thats simply beautiful :)
http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Jules and Ruby,

I hope you still check out the comments from your admirers! I finally found a site that I thoroughly enjoy, being tempted to try every recipe you have. Your site is awesome, with such an amalgam of flavors and tastes; very original, exotic, tempting, tempting, tempting and tempting! Love little Ruby and would like to see more pictures of him, watching you cook/bake. I will be leaving for vacation to Europe and will take some of your recipes with me; the first one I will try will be the pig ear terrine, but instead of the ears, I will use the pig skin. Please keep on working your marvels in the kitchen!
A fan,
Electra
eelectraa@gmail.com

Jules and Ruby said...

Electra...WOW, thank you so much. that is the BEST comment ever! you made my day! i can't wait to hear about your pig skin terrine experience. have a great trip. wish i was going...hope to hear from you soon.
jules and ruby

stacy said...

linked from The Kitchn - do you have a recipe for mom's pie crust too?? :-)

Anonymous said...

Mine was really eggy tasting! What did I do wrong?

Jules and Ruby said...

Stacy...i asked Mom about her recipe and she said it's nothing out of the norm. darn, i forgot to ask if she is a "butter" or a "shortening" pie cruster...i'll ask again. i have a feeling it's all in the experienced hands. she said i have to learn sometime, so i'll pass on the info if i find out the secret to perfect pie crust.

Anonymous...i'm not sure what went wrong. did you beat the mixture really really well? i mean REALLY well...the only thing i can say is try again?...it IS a custard type pie...maybe too "custard-ie" for you? i DO hope you try it again because it was and is a winner in this house.

Anonymous said...

I think I will give it another try--I'll beat it a little longer (I used a Kitchenaid stand up mixer) and I'll be sure I measure the sugar carfully.

Anonymous said...

Mine came out very eggy too. I measured the sugar very carefully, and I used regular "large eggs" from the grocery store. Maybe mixing it more is the answer as someone else said?

Jules and Ruby said...

Hi guys. I should make it again and see if mine comes out to eggy or if that's just the nature of this custard pie

Jhadzia said...

Hark!! I have been looking for this recipe for chess pie for 6 months. I tasted one at a picnic and nobody that I knew could tell me how to make one. omg it was soo delicious and only 3 ingredients? I am not sure what flavor the one I had..but it was not plain...chocolate maybe. To die(t) for! Thank you! I am so glad I joined this and yes I think this website is better than Goooo you know who!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Jhadzia...thanks for following. i hope you get a chance to try this easy easy easy pie.

Anonymous said...

i think your missing a small amount of corn meal or flour. as well as a dash of vanilla... some ppl add a dash of white vinegar also

Claire said...

Hi there, could you please describe how you made the meringue topping? thx. Great pics, looks very yummy!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Claire...the crusty meringue topping just happens when it bakes. it's fabulous, it's weird, but it works. it's such a simple pie that has simple flavors and everybody loves it. i hope you give it a try...let me know. thanks for stopping by

Anonymous said...

My recipe calls for a tablespoon of corn meal and it gives it a great texture. It's so quick to make, I can have one in the oven in less than 10 minutes!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Anonymous...i have heard of the cornmeal version. i'll give it a try next time. thanks. i wonder, is it really fine cornmeal?

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