Lemon Chess Pie

From Cook's Country | April​/May 2010

Why this recipe works:

A cousin to custard and translucent pies, the chess variety has been around since the 1800s. The pie may make use of everyday ingredients, but its signature crackly cornmeal exterior and rich lemony flavor are far from ordinary. Some lemon chess pie recipes called for as much as a pound of… read more

A cousin to custard and translucent pies, the chess variety has been around since the 1800s. The pie may make use of everyday ingredients, but its signature crackly cornmeal exterior and rich lemony flavor are far from ordinary. Some lemon chess pie recipes called for as much as a pound of sugar, as many as 16 eggs, and loads of butter. Our modern recipe employed all the traditional mainstays, just in far smaller quantities. After our initial tests, we discovered we did not need both flour and cornmeal in our filling. We opted to replace the flour, which tasted raw, with extra cornmeal. A little lemon juice and lemon zest were all we needed to give the pie plenty of flavor.

Modern technology is often faster, but not always better. Mixing the filling in a food processor aerated the mixture, making the baked filling foamy, so we stuck with a bowl and a whisk.

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Serves 8

Use your favorite pie dough or our Single-Crust Pie Dough (see related recipe). Regular yellow cornmeal (not stone ground) works best here. Make the filling before baking the shell so the cornmeal has time to soften. Adding the filling when the pie shell is still warm reduces the pie’s cooking time slightly.

Ingredients

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