Old-Fashioned Chess Pie Recipe
Old-Fashioned Chess Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Old-Fashioned Chess Pie Recipe

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This recipe dates back many years and has certainly stood the test of time. It's very rich, so small servings might be in order.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + cooling
MAKES:8-10 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + cooling
MAKES: 8-10 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches)
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 710 calories, 36 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 226 mg cholesterol, 365 mg sodium, 96 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and egg. Add cornmeal and flour until well blended. Beat in milk and vanilla (do not over beat). Pour into the pastry shell.
  2. Bake at 325° for 55-65 minutes or until the filling is almost set. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For topping, heat 1/2 cup sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat without stirring until partially melted, about 5 minutes. Cook and stir with a metal spoon until syrup is completely melted and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter and remaining sugar (mixture will be lumpy). Cook over medium heat, stirring until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour into a small bowl without stirring. Cool, without stirring, to 190°. Beat on high speed until mixture turns light brown and creamy and a candy thermometer reads 130°-137°, about 5 minutes. Immediately spread over pie. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Chess Pie in Country February/March 2000, p49

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Reviewed Jul. 19, 2010

"Love it!"

Reviewed Mar. 20, 2009

"I have had Chess Pie before, and loved it. I made this one and after baking an hour it was still totally liquid. It tastes good, just not the right consistency. Not sure what I did wrong."

Reviewed Jan. 3, 2009

"I know this is a first prize winner, but no one in my family or at the potluck to which I took it, could eat it. It is basically a sugar and egg yolk pie with fudge on top. UGH!"

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