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Browned Butter Chess Pie

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.


8 servings

This simple pie is so smooth and velvety, it will warm everyone’s heart. It’s a timeless recipe with southern roots, but I recommend trying it no matter where you live! —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, CA


  • Dough for single-crust pie
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim crust to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Line unpricked crust with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights; bake 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir butter over medium heat until golden brown, 5-7 minutes; remove from the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar; beat until mixture becomes thick, 2 minutes. Beat in milk, vinegar, cornmeal, vanilla, cinnamon and the browned butter. Pour into crust. Cover edge with foil.
  5. Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 3 hours. If desired, serve with ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.
Dough for single-crust pie
Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 469 calories, 25g fat (15g saturated fat), 131mg cholesterol, 288mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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