Chess pies are a southern favorite and my mother in law could whip up some of the best. Very simple ingredients including eggs, sugar, butter and a small amount of flour makes up a sweet filling. Many times my mother in law would have little in her kitchen but the staples and could still whip a delicious dessert. Some chess pies include vinegar and others include cornmeal. I do not think that my mother in law made her pie the same way every time. She never followed a recipe and had learned how to make chess pies since she was a young girl. Some pies also included flavorings such as vanilla, lemon juice or chocolate which are simply added to the basic recipe. I do not remember my mil ever adding any flavoring to her pie. The truth is the taste of her pie could stand alone and you did not desire anything else.
One bit of folklore to help explain the name of this pie is that the word "chest" was said with a southern drawl and was used to describe these pies that were baked with so much sugar they could be stored in a pie chest rather than be refrigerated.
One of the oldest recipes shared for chess pie was
1877 - Estelle Woods Wilcox's 1877 cookbook called Buckeye Cookery, she includes a recipe for Chess Pie:
Chess PieThree eggs, two-thirds cup sugar, half cup butter (half cup milk may be added if not wanted so rich); beat butter to a cream, than add yolks and sugar beaten to a froth with the flavoring; stir all together rapidly, and bake in a nice crust. When done, spread with the beaten whites, and three table-spoons sugar and a little flavoring. Return to oven and brown slightly. this makes one pie, which should be served immediately.Since my mother in law never used a recipe I decided to share one that I found that was close to hers.
2 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Melted Butter
1 cup Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 whole 9 Inch Unbaked Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs until blended. Stir in the melted butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Pour filling into the pie crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set.
shared at Thrifty Things Foodtastic Friday Just Us Four Weekend Potluck and Tickled Pink as well as at