Every time I see a recipe for chess pie, it usually includes some tidbit about the origin of the name. There seem to be two stories that crop up most often. The first is that the name is just a shortened version of the word "chest", in reference to the fact that this pie kept well in a pie chest or safe. The second, and the one that I love, has it's basis in the fact that is such a simple pie with few ingredients. This is an amazingly tasty pie, despite the fact that all of the ingredients are usually on hand. When the cooks were asked what kind of pie this was, they would demurely reply, "Oh, it's nuttin' fancy-'jes pie." In fact, I have to confess that this is another reason that I made this pie today-pure laziness-I had all of the ingredients here.
If you're still a bit scared of pie baking, this would be a great one to start with. It is a one bowl, one crust recipe (you could even used a premade crust, ya know-I won't tell).
just blend the ingredients....
....pour into the shell...
.....and bake. The baked filling turns this rich,lovely yellow.
The finished product has that gorgeous creamy yellow filling with a
crusty, crunchy, sugary, buttery goodness on top.
I just had a taste still warm from the oven, and it is mighty tasty for 'jes pie.
from 'pie,pie,pie-easy homemade favorites' by John Phillip Carrol
1/2 c brown sugar
1 T chilled unsalted butter
1/2 t ground cinnamon
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 c sugar
3 T cornmeal
1 T plus 1 t cider vinegar
1/4 t salt
10 T unsalted butter, melted
1 t vanilla
-Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out single crust and fit into 9 inch glass pie pan
-To make the topping, combine the sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, rapidly rub the ingredients together until the butter is evenly blended into the sugar. Set aside.
-To make the filling, in a medium bowl combine the eggs, sugar, cornmeal, vinegar, salt, butter, and vanilla and whisk until smooth and blended. Pour into the prepared pie shell.
-Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is softly set but the center is still quite trembly. Carefully remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle with the topping.
-Return to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until the filling is more firmly set and the topping has melted.
-Serve warm or at room temperature
*One note about this recipe. I just could not bring myself to put the entire bowl of topping onto the pie-the additional 1/2 cup of brown sugar seemed a bit out of control to me. So, I sprinkled just about 1/2 the total topping onto the pie, and it seems to be plenty.