• All Butter Pie Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of very cold butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • Pie Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chess Pie, the quintessential southern dessert or is it? No one really knows where the name “chess pie'” came from, but some say that years ago gentlemen were served this sweet pie as they retreated to a room to play chess. How lucky were they? Others say the name was derived from Southerners’ dialect: It’s jes’ pie (it’s just pie). Another story suggests that this pie is so high in sugar that it kept well in pie chests at room temperature and was therefore called “chest pie.” It is said that the southern drawl slurred the name into chess pie. Perhaps it is the similarity to the traditional English lemon curd pie, often called “cheese” pie, that chess pie got its’ American name.

Considered to be a southern dessert, it is said that chess pie was actually originally brought from England, and was found in New England as well as Virginia. With very simple ingredients like butter, flour, sugar and milk, the chess pie has many variations. In the south, cornmeal is often substituted for flour. Because we adore chocolate so much we made our chess pie with a little high-quality cocoa powder and fresh orange zest and juice. I love flavor combination of chocolate and orange! This has become one of our family’s favorite pies!



Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

In a food processor, place flour, salt and sugar; pulse once or twice just to combine. Add your very cold butter cubes. With a dough blade, pulse the mixer until small peas form. Add sour cream and a little water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing as you add the water until a pie dough forms. (You can use a mixing bowl and a pastry cutter as well).

Remove your pie dough from the bowl or food processor and knead just until the dough comes together. On a lightly-floured counter, roll out your pie dough a little larger than the size of your pie pan. Place in your pan. (I prefer using a glass pie pan because my pie crust browns up nicely). Fold the edges under and then crimp. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the bottom of the crust.  Place foil on top of your crust and place a 1 cup of dry beans or rice in the middle of the pie pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes. When pie crust has baked, remove the beans and foil.

While your pie crust is baking, make the pie filling:

In a bowl combine granulated sugar, cornmeal and good quality cocoa powder.

In an electric mixer beat your eggs for about 5 to 7 minutes until they are thicker and a beautiful pale yellow. Add melted butter, buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice and pure vanilla extract.

Mix well and pour into your pie crust. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Cover edges of pie crust with foil to avoid over-browning. Bake for 25 minutes or until the mixture is set enough that it doesn’t move around. You can also test with a toothpick. Cool on the counter for 10 minutes and then place in the refrigerator for one to two hours.

Enjoy with a dollop of homemade whipped cream:

Mix all ingredients together at full speed until the cream achieves a nice thicker consistency. Be sure not toover-mix or you’ll hbe topping your pie off with sweet butter instead!  smile

From our hearts to yours,

Elise and family