Aunt Laura’s Chess Pie & Pie Safes

Before I married my husband six years ago this week, I had never really heard of chess pie. Ever since our first Thanksgiving together, it has been my mission to conquer the difficult art of his favorite childhood dessert: chess pie. The women in Wade’s family who whip out beautiful and delicious desserts faster than you can say “snickerdoodle” would never say that a chess pie is difficult (for them). However, after my many unsuccessful attempts to get the pie to congeal and set appropriately, I know this to be so. I believe the secret is in the cornmeal… Which, after all, is the ingredient that makes a chess pie a chess and not a custard pie.

Where did the name “chess” come from? I read somewhere several years ago as I scoured and attempted at least 20 recipes that the name comes from the term “pie chest,” which is what some people call pie safes. Ironically, the man who first introduced me to the simply-sweet tasting dessert is the same man who surprised me with the most beautiful pie safe I’ve ever seen for our first wedding anniversary.

Here is sweet Aunt Laura’s delicious, simple recipe that is foolproof. May your pie safes be full! And thank you, Laura! I should’ve just asked you years ago. 🙂


We all live off His generous bounty,
        gift after gift after gift.
    We got the basics from Moses,
        and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
    This endless knowing and understanding—
        all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. John 1:16-17 MSG


Aunt Laura’s Chess Pie

I feel like chess pie is one of those desserts that a pioneer could whip right up and then stash in her pie safe away from the eight children and wild animals.  No fancy KitchenAid Mixer or pastry tool needed….just a spoon, a bowl, some measuring trinkets and a hot oven.  I made my pie while listening to a great Christmas Pandora mix and texted Aunt Laura… not exactly my most primitive moment, but I did channel my hero Jenny Wiley for a couple seconds.

Start by adding sugar to melted butter.

dsc_0054_8577_01

Stir with a spoon!

dsc_0055_8578_01

Add slightly beaten eggs and stir.

dsc_0056_8579_01

Add remaining ingredients and stir. (Note for the vinegar, either white or apple cider may be used, but AC gives a nice hint of flavor).

dsc_0061_8584_01

Pour into prepared pie shell (always grease a pie dish before adding shell) and bake in the middle of the oven.

dsc_0068_8591_01

Remove after approximately 45 minutes.  Pie needs to cool completely before serving.  I recommend baking the day before and serving cold, but some people prefer room temp.  Happy baking!

dsc_0082_8605_01


Aunt Laura’s Chess Pie

Ingredients:

3 eggs- slightly beaten

1 stick melted butter

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp cornmeal

1.5 cups sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350degrees.

Melt the butter, add the sugar and stir.  Add eggs, stir.  Add cornmeal and vinegar, stir. Add to pie shell.  Bake approximately 45 minutes.

Author: Neena

When not chasing after her two joyful little boys, Neena enjoys beekeeping, a good cup of coffee, and writing on her blog, “Words Like Honey” (www.wordslikehoney.com). Neena has spent much of the last decade traveling with her husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player. Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, Neena learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ in her heart. She hopes to lead women to a grace-filled life with Jesus through her stories of their baseball adventures and her Appalachian upbringing. Today, Neena and her family are ecstatic to settled back in their Old Kentucky Home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *