Chess pie

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Chess pie
Chess pie.jpg
A vanilla buttermilk chess pie
Type Pie
Place of origin England
Main ingredients Pie crust, eggs, butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, corn meal
Variations Lemon chess pie, vinegar pie

Chess pie is a dessert characteristic of Southern United States cuisine.

History[edit]

According to James Beard's American Cookery (1972), chess pie was brought from England originally and was found in New England as well as Virginia.[1] A recipe similar to chess pie appears in Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery, from the mid-17th Century. A recipe for chess pie appeared in the 1877 cookbook by Estelle Woods Wilcox, Buckeye Cookery.

Chess pie is most commonly associated as a dessert of the American South. Common types of chess pie are buttermilk, chocolate, lemon, and nut.

Etymology[edit]

The origin of the name chess pie is unknown, but many theories have been proposed. It is most likely a mispronunciation of "cheese pie;" the combination of eggs, butter, and sugar in chess pie recipes make a custardlike filling which is similar in texture to British cheesecakes and lemon curd.[2] Alternately, it could be named after the town of Chester, England, again due to the similarity to British pies and tarts.[3] The term may also have come from a piece of furniture used prior to home refrigeration called a "pie chest," in which pies were stored. Alternatively, it could have come from a mispronunciation of "It's just pie” ("It's jes' pie").[4]

Composition[edit]

The basic chess pie recipe calls for the preparation of a single crust and a filling composed of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Some variations call for the addition of cornmeal as a stabilizing agent in the filling. Many recipes call for an acid such as vinegar, buttermilk, or lemon juice.[5]

In addition to standard chess pie, other flavor variations include lemon, coconut and chocolate chess pie.[6] Nut pies, including pecan, fall under the category of chess pies.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chess Pie Recipes: Taste of the South". Southern Living. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  2. ^ Stradley, Linda (2015-05-19). "Chess Pie history, Whats Cooking America". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  3. ^ Olver, Lynne. "Food Timeline: history notes-pie & pastry". www.foodtimeline.org. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  4. ^ Stradley, Linda (2017). "Chess Pie History". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  5. ^ "Southern Chess Pie: Tips and Variations". The Spruce. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  6. ^ Schneider, Crady. "Chess Pie: Nothing More Southern". Porter Briggs. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  7. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Classic American Pie". Eater. Retrieved 2018-02-21.