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Chess Pie

  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


This classic Southern chess pie is irresistibly buttery and sweet. It’s made with a rich and thick custard filling that’s baked in a flaky pie crust until golden brown on top.


  • 1 single pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup (114g) salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • zest of half a lemon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place a rack on the lower third of oven. Fit pie crust into a 9″ pie pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the sugar and cornmeal. Whisk in the butter, milk, lemon zest (optional), vinegar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Then whisk in the eggs until combined. Pour the filling into the prepared pie pan.
  4. Bake on the lower third rack for 45-50 minutes until the filling is set and golden on top. Shield the edges with aluminum foil if it starts to brown too quickly. I covered mine after 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or some whipped cream if desired.


Leftovers can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Cornmeal – All-purpose flour
  • Butter – Margarine
  • Milk – Buttermilk or sour cream
  • Vinegar – Lemon or lime juice

Keywords: chess pie recipe, easy chess pie

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