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
Cookbook: Chess pie  Media: Chess pie

Chess pie is a dessert characteristic of Southern U.S. cuisine.


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]


The origin of the name chess pie is unknown, but many theories and folklore have been proposed. The term may have come from the term "pie chest", which chess pies could be stored in with their high sugar content. Another guess is that it came from a pronunciation of "cheese pie", because the recipes of lemon chess pie and English lemon curd (cheese) are similar. Alternatively, it could have come from a pronunciation of "It's jes' pie" (It's just pie).[2] Another proposal is that the pie was eaten in a room set to play chess in.[1]


Recipes vary, but all the variations call for the preparation of a single crust and a filling composed of eggs, butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla. What sets chess pie apart from many other custard pies is the addition of cornmeal. Some recipes also call for corn syrup, which tends to create a thicker consistency.[citation needed]

In addition to standard chess pie, other flavor variations include lemon, coconut and chocolate chess pie.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chess Pie Recipes: Taste of the South". Southern Living. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  2. ^ Stradley, Linda (2017). "Chess Pie History". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  3. ^ Schneider, Crady. "Chess Pie: Nothing More Southern". Porter Briggs. Retrieved 2017-06-19.