Chess Pie Recipe

Lauren Weisenthal

This is a great, basic recipe for Chess Pie, the gooey, sweet Southern classic. The filling is a rich custard that's sweeter than most, balanced just slightly with the addition of white vinegar. A small amount of flour and cornmeal create a very thin, crispy caramelized crust over the top.

This recipe is adapted from the original featured in Southern Living magazine. Southern buds of mine swear that it's the real deal.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Serves: 8 to 10 servings

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  • One half recipe Easy Pie Dough, shaped and chilled in a pie plate

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 ounces (about 5 tablespoons) whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 14 ounces (about 2 cups) granulated sugar

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) melted butter, cooled

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425°F. Line the chilled pie shell with foil or parchment and fill it with pie weights (I like to use dried beans for this purpose). Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325°F and bake for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the weights and liner and bake the pie shell until it is light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together for 30 seconds, until they are well combined. Stream the sugar into the bowl, whisking as you go. Add the butter, salt, cornmeal, flour, and vinegar, and whisk until the filling is smooth and there are no visible lumps. Pour the filling into the cooled shell and place on the lower rack of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling has set up but still quivers a bit and is slightly puffed at the edges. Allow the pie to cool completely. Either serve warm or cover and refrigerate for a chilled filling.

Special equipment

9-inch pie plate

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
461 Calories
22g Fat
62g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 461
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 377mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 83mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)