Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Chess Pie (quiche, tarte, & co.)

Posted by bakinghistory on October 14, 2008

A Southern classic: Chess Pie

Blog-Event XXXIX - Quiche, Tarte & Co.

This is my entry for the event hosted by  Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte .


Chess pie is a classic dessert in the culinary repertoire of Southern U.S. The flaky crust encloses a sweet, sweet, sweet, and creamy filling topped by an ever-so-thin, crispy layer of meringue.

From the original recipes by:  Mattie Lee Wehrley

In: “Handy Household Hints and Recipes”, 1916, USA

and Juniata L. Shepperd

In: “Handbook of Household Science”, 1902—USA



4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups butter

1 tbsp flour

1/2 cup milk or cream


1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (scant) butter

1/4 tsp salt

ice water as needed

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Make the Crust: In a food processor put flour salt and butter (diced), and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running add enough water for the dough to come together. Do not overprocess. Wrap the dough in wax paper and let rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes. Roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness and line a deep pie dish, make a decorative rim.

Filling: melt the butter and let cool. Warm the milk and set aside.Beat the eggs at high speed with the sugar until very light (at least 15 minutes), then add the flour, the melted and cooled butter, and the lukewarm milk. If the milk is cold the mixture will curdle. If this happens, blend with an immersion blender until smooth and glossy.

Pour the filling in the prepared pan and bake at 350F (180C), until the top of the filling is golden brown. Let the pie cool in the pan placed on a rack. Serve cold; refrigerate any leftovers.

A note on the pie pan to use: I recommend using a metal deep-dish pie pan. In my experience, pies baked in  glass and ceramic pie dishes often have a soggy, undercooked pastry layer, which spoils the final result. Natural finish aluminum pie pans are best because they bake evenly.


9 Responses to “Chess Pie (quiche, tarte, & co.)”

  1. zorra said

    I’m drooling! I would like to have a piece of it right now!

  2. bakinghistory said

    @ Zorra: 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

  3. Ivy said

    Unfortunately your picture is not showing but it sounds like a great pie.

  4. _Ale said

    Wow! That slice is just perfect!

  5. bakinghistory said

    @ Ivy: Thanks 🙂 . Perhaps there was a temporary problem with the picture, but now it should be OK.

    @_Ale: Truly a pie worth trying! 🙂

  6. Louise said

    What a “beautiful” piece of pie you have there. Boy, you can tell I’m not much of a baker. I would never have thought to beat the egg sugar mixture for 15 minutes! Looks like it was sure worth it. Thanks so much for sharing Manuela…

  7. bakinghistory said

    @ Louise: Thanks! Beating the egg-sugar mixture for a long time is necessary to incorporate enough air in it so that while baking it will form a meringue-like layer on top 🙂

  8. wil said

    timer went off. it’s now cooling as i type. 😉

  9. bakinghistory said

    @ Will: thanks for stopping by. Hope you like the pie 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: