Today I baked a Chess Pie using a recipe that comes from my mom, The Babs. She baked this pie when I was growing up, and I always loved it. General history states that the Chess Pie actually originated in England. It likely contained nuts, dates, and/or raisins. Today Chess Pie is a southern speciality. Most recipes call for the same ingredients. Basically eggs, milk, vanilla, and butter. Some variations are cornmeal, vinegar, and flour. I have run across some recipes that actually call for cream.
The name, "Chess Pie", is really of unknown origin. Some think it refers to the phrase, "It's just pie". Or, if you have a really good southern accent, "jess pah". I also found a reference to this pie keeping so well in a pie chest. Thus, the name, "Chest Pie". Whatever the name, the creamy custard filling is so good that you won't care where the name came from.
This recipe from The Babs contains cornmeal, vinegar and the other standard items. So, let's get started baking. I don't think The Babs will mind if I share her recipe.
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp cornmeal
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp vinegar
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. I like to use the premade pie crust that I can use in my own pie plates.
Generally I find that my pie is done in about 45-50 minutes. Allow the pie to cool and the filling will settle just a bit.