Southern buds of mine swear that its the real deal. About the author Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute. Baked Cauliflower With Cheese. You can follow her on Twitter at evillagekitchen. Chess Pie Background Information. Chess pie has long been associated with the South. Though the origin of the name remains uncertain, there are plenty of guesses and a bit of folklore surrounding it. The earliest printed reference to the pie was in a cookbook published by the Fort Worth Womens Club in 1. Origins of the Dish. The unusual name has many possible origins. Some think it is derived from the word cheese, even though there is no cheese in chess pie. According to Sara Belk in Around the Southern Table, old cookbooks often referred to cheesecakes and pies that did not actually contain cheese, using the term to describe the curd like texture. Elizabeth Hedgecock Sparks, the author of North Carolina and Old Salem Cookery, said chess pie was an old, old tart which may have obtained its name from the town of Chester, England. In Southern Food, John Egerton offers two more possibilities. The first has to do with a piece of furniture common in the early South called a pie chest or pie safe. Chess pie may have been called chest pie at first because it held up well in the pie chest. The second story is that a creative Southern housewife came up with the concoction and tried it out on her husband, who loved it. What kind of pie is this he is said to have exclaimed. His wife shrugged and smiled. I dont know, she said its ches pie. Variations. Chess pie has a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter and a small amount of flour. Some recipes include cornmeal and others are made with some vinegar. Brown or white sugar may be used, and buttermilk is a common ingredient. Flavorings, such as vanilla or lemon juice, may also be added to vary the basic recipe. The Pie Who Came In From the Cold. Chess Pie History. Chess pies are a Southern specialty that has a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter, and a small amount of flour. Flavorings, such as vanilla, lemon juice, or chocolate are also added to vary the basic recipe. What Is Chess Pie VideoFor best results, refrigerate all ingredients prior to making the dough even the flour. All liquids should be ice cold. Chill the dough for 3. Use pastry flour or all purpose. Bread flour has too much gluten to make a tender crust, and cake flour is too soft to give the proper body. Very Upper Crust. Lard and shortening produce the most tender crusts. You may use half lard or shortening and half butter if you want the buttery flavor. What Is Chess Pie' title='What Is Chess Pie' />The pockets of fat make the flakiness in the crust. Use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut in fat. The dough should still have some pea size pieces. Handle as little as possible with your hands. Define chess pie a pie or tart with a filling made especially of eggs, butter, and sugar. Make and share this Chess Pie recipe from Genius Kitchen. You cant get more basic than chess pie. Remarkable in its simplicity, timeless in appeal, chess pie is the ultimate Southern pantry pie. This is a great, basic recipe for Chess Pie, the gooey, sweet Southern classic. The filling is a rich custard thats sweeter than most, balanced just slightly with. Chess pie definition, a dessert of cornmeal, sugar, butter, egg yolks, milk, and flavorings baked in a pastry shell. See more. For a flakier crust, substitute ice cold sour cream or heavy cream for the water. Take the Sog Out. To prevent a soggy crust, refrigerate for 1. Setting the pie pan on a metal baking sheet during baking also helps prevent soggy crusts. Chess Pie Accoutrements Enhance the flavor of your dough by adding spices such as nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon. Adding sugar to pastry dough not only sweetens, it tenderizes. Blending in liquid just until the dough begins to hold together. Overworking toughens the dough. Add a teaspoon of cornstarch to your sugar before beating it into the egg whites, so your meringue wont weep. As a final touch, sprinkle toasted ground nuts or fine cookie crumbs over the dough and gently press them in before filling or baking.