"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jess Pie

I made my first chess pie for my niece Lauren.  She loves them.  A true southern pie, it must have cornmeal in the filling to be called a chess pie.  History is, it was called jess pie, then with the advent of pie chests, chest pie.  Somewhere on it became Chess Pie.  It really was good and after it cools, just melts in your mouth.  Here's the recipe I used.

Browned Butter Chess Pie

6 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often (5 to 6 minutes) until butter just begins to turn brown.  Remove from heat.  Whisk together eggs, lemon juice and vanilla till smooth.  Add sugar then cornmeal, flour and salt and stir.  Whisk in browned butter.  Pour mixture into piecrust of your choice.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack.

As an experienced pie baker, I tweaked the recipe.  It had some rigamarole about pre-baking the crust with pie weights for a time which I did not do.  Also, I doubled the filling recipe and used slightly more butter.  For my piecrust, I use both butter and shortening.  It turned out perfect.


  1. OHHHH, Yesss! That's a purentee perfect one right there! And the browned butter takes it from a mere DEEEE-licious, up and over into scrumdiddlyumptious. If this kitchen reno didn't have us at enough sixes and sevens to supply Avogadro, I'd be making one this afternoon---that's the one pie Southern Cooks ALWAYS have the ingredients for on hand.

    And with the mere addition of the finely-scraped zest of a lime or a lemon, and no need of juice, chess becomes the most delicately-flavoured citrus, with just a waft of the fruit.

    Ours has always been called Mildredchess pie, for the wonderful woman who made two of whatever Mother ordered for any particular holiday, to differentiate from Mildredchocolate and MildredKay-Ro Pecan. Memories of opening the cold draft of the dining room door, and smelling those long-ago flavours and scents---thanks for the memories.


  2. A store near us makes something similar and they call it crack pie ;))

  3. Oh this sounds fabulous Donna. Loved the name too and the history behind it. Think I will stop by for a piece. Hope there is some left. Hugs!

  4. Awww...thanks so much for your earlier comment! And I have definitely missed being here for your blog posts. That pie looks fabulous. Must try. Happy spring to you, friend!


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