chess pie

Photo from Elizabeth Griffin

Pies are a delicious dessert to bring to any gathering, but let's face it, baking pies is difficult. Gina Neely has a recipe for chess pie that is perfect for people who need to cheat a little to save time while baking. This pie is easy to make (as far as pie-making goes) and tastes exactly like the classic chess pie that Southerners swear by.

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1 Store-bought pie crust sheet
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Milk
1 tbsp White or apple cider vinegar
pinch Of kosher salt
2 cups Granulated sugar
2 tbsp Cornmeal (finely ground)
1 tbsp All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
Powdered sugar (optional for garnish)
Whipped cream (optional for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Unroll the pie crust sheet and place it into a 9-inch pie plate. Tuck any pie crust that hangs over the edge of the pie plate under and crimp the edges with a fork or using your fingers. Place the pie crust into the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.

Line the pie with parchment or foil and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Place into the oven and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the pie has browned slightly around the edges. Remove the foil or parchment and the weights or beans and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350° F. Set the pie crust aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the vanilla until frothy. Whisk in the milk, vinegar, and salt. Slowly pour in the sugar as you whisk and when the sugar is incorporated completely, add in the cornmeal, flour, and butter. Whisk until smooth and add the filling to the pie crust.

Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown but still jiggles slightly in the center. Cool completely and serve room temperature or chilled with powdered sugar or whipped cream.