Photo: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Tori Cox and Gordon Sawyer; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
1 (9-inch) pie

If you've got baking staples in your kitchen, then you probably have everything you need for a classic chess pie. This old-fashioned pie typically has two distinctive ingredients, cornmeal and vinegar, plus other on-hand ingredients such as sugar, flour, eggs, milk and vanilla. This version is made easy with the use of refrigerated pie crusts.

How to Make It

Step 1

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Step 2

Line pastry with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Step 3

Bake at 425° for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake 2 more minutes or until golden. Cool.

Step 4

Stir together sugar and next 7 ingredients until blended. Add eggs, stirring well. Pour into piecrust.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, garnish with powdered sugar. 

Step 6

Coconut Chess Pie: Prepare filling as directed above; stir in 1 cup toasted flaked coconut before pouring into piecrust. Bake as directed above.

Ratings & Reviews

April 13, 2015
Thanks for this review, I am not a good pie maker so I excited to make this.

rcturner525's Review

September 03, 2012
This pie was delicious and so easy! The only tricky part is blind-baking the crust, which requires a little experience (just make sure the aluminum foil is completely pressed against the crust to prevent it shrinking). My 7-year-old made the filling (with my supervision), and really she didn't need much help at all. We made the coconut version, which was really good. If I make the coconut one again, I will use unsweetened coconut, since the pie is already very sweet and sweetened flaked coconut made it just shy of cloying. But our friends loved it, my daughter was very proud, and it tasted just as a southern chess pie should (said this Georgia native!)

April 13, 2015
Thanks for the tip on the coconut.

jddaniels1982's Review

June 21, 2009
My poor mom and I had to listen to my dad rave about the women in his family and their cooking the entire time I was coming up. (My mom is a lot of things, but a cook she ain't!) I fixed this pie for Father's Day and he LOVED it! I won't kid you - I don't know what a good chess pie is supposed to taste like - but everybody who had a piece said it was excellent. So if you want to make your first chess pie, I'd start right here.

TanyaEll's Review

March 23, 2010
My family loved this pie. I made it with toasted coconut and it was perfect. I have already made it twice and have requests for more. Great taste and easy to make!!

KatrinaH's Review

November 10, 2013

twoemeralds's Review

January 27, 2012
Growing up, Chess Pie was a true comfort food for me. Whatever the reason, I had never made one of my own until now... WOW, this pie is wonderful and came out perfect!! After 50 minutes of baking at 350 degrees F, I turned the oven off and let the pie sit in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

SheilaZoda's Review

February 04, 2014

DebbieWalling's Review

December 11, 2012

hfsjr243's Review

September 03, 2009
I have made this pie several times in the past. I had lost the recipe until today. Thank you! This recipe reminds me of Grandmother Buttrey's chess pie. (she is no longer with us and she took her recipe with her) This was always served at family gatherings, especially holidays. I always get rave reviews. Great old country recipe. Thank you again.