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Lemon Chess Pie with Berry Sauce

This is one of those old-fashioned Southern desserts that makes everyone feel good. The easy-as-pie berry sauce gives it color and a tantalizing tang. —April Heaton, Branson, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    8 servings (1-1/2 cups sauce)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen unsweetened mixed berries, thawed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Place the flour, coconut and salt in a food processor; process until blended. Add butter; pulse until mixture is the size of peas. While pulsing, add just enough ice water to form moist crumbs. Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim dough to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Line unpricked dough with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice.
  • Bake at 400° on a lower oven rack for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake until crust is light brown, 6-9 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 325°.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, lemon juice, cornmeal, lemon zest, salt and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in butter. Pour into crust. Cover edge with foil to prevent overbrowning.
  • Bake at 325° until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours or until chilled.
  • For sauce, in a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Cook until syrup is reduced to 1/4 cup; transfer to a small bowl. Cool completely. Just before serving, stir in berries and lemon juice; serve with pie.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece with 3 tablespoons sauce: 528 calories, 25g fat (15g saturated fat), 191mg cholesterol, 389mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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  • Sandyc6348
    Mar 4, 2015

    I have this pie several times, but I put a cup of finely chopped pecans in my crust. Some of my family did not care for the mixed berries. I make a sauce with just strawberries. That goes over big time.

  • matteliz
    Nov 22, 2012

    I made this with an oil pie crust, and with lime zest & juice instead of lemon, and it was delicious! My Thanksgiving guests loved it. I also halved the amount of sugar in the filling with no problem.

  • mssmith007
    Nov 21, 2012

    My husband is the baker in our house and he knows how much I love lemon and chess pies. He tried this one out on our family for Sunday dinner and it was an instant hit. I love, love it! I requested it for Thanksgiving.

  • Shannon Splon
    Oct 13, 2012

    I made this pie for my mother-in-law's birthday, and it turned out great! Everybody had seconds and the entire pie was eaten in one sitting!! My mother-in-law even said she wanted me to make this pie for her every year! This is quite a success considering she normally doesn't eat very many sweets. I guess I will have to file this recipe for future use!!