Chess Pie

Chess Pie

T. Knecht 0

"This is a very old southern recipe. It's a very sweet, rich pie which cannot be described as anything but marvelous. This is not my personal recipe but was passed to me by my grandmother and from her grandmother and so on and so forth."

Ingredients 1 h 5 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 460 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 460 kcal
  • 23%
  • Fat:
  • 22.1 g
  • 34%
  • Carbs:
  • 62g
  • 20%
  • Protein:
  • 5.3 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 126 mg
  • 42%
  • Sodium:
  • 242 mg
  • 10%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Mix in the eggs, then stir in the cornmeal, evaporated milk and vinegar until smooth.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 40 minutes. Let cool. Cut and top servings with whipped cream. You will think you have died and gone to heaven.
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Reviews 117

  1. 131 Ratings


Just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth on this one. FYI for previous reviews: Chess Pie should have a "burnt" top. It's the cornmeal that comes to the top and browns that gives this appearance. My great-grandmother's recipe calls for only 3 eggs and only 1 1/2 cups sugar. My mother always removes her pies when a butter knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. For those of you who have slightly runny centers, when you turn off the oven... leave the pie inside until the oven is cool. As far as I've ever been able to tell.. you can't dry out a Chess Pie. And for those whose pies cracked on top, this is fairly common. Sometimes mine crack, sometimes not. May have to do with humidity and that sort of stuff. Finally, for those knocked out by the sweetness.. Chess Pie is a traditional down-home Southern Pie. If it ain't sweet, it ain't dessert. I only wonder why T.Knecht put any topping on at all. Never had it with topping... don't guess I ever will. Hope I helped. God Bless!!!


This is an excellent recipe and very easy to make. I am a little surprised at some of the negative comments. This pie recipe is very typical and delicious for one of the custard-type pies. Try using heavy whipping cream rather than evaporated milk, this will help with the texture and the cracking. Also, PRE-HEAT your oven to 450 degrees, place pie plate on a cookie sheet, place in oven and immediately turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake 45-50 minutes. The top will be a medium brown as the cornmeal surfaces and browns, and the pie should be set. I had no problems with it and my family absolutely loves it. Thanks for the great recipe!


This pie is still in the oven as I write this, but after all the recipes Ive tried I have yet to come along one that resembled the pies my grandmother used to make. One of the reasons I searched for so long was that I didnt realize the one very simple fact that set my family pies apart from the "recipe pies" - the commotion. There was always so much going on in our house during the holidays that this pie was made, that the pie always fell. Every Chess pie (we call it Vinegar Pie) Ive ever had in 22 years has been flat! I would recommend stomping to anyone else who has this same tradition. Also, leaving your pie in the oven while the oven cools is truly the best way to set the center, and the top is SUPPOSED to be brown and cracked.