Texas Lemon Chess Pie

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min.+ chilling


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
Slice into Southern comfort and go back to a simpler time with this classic, feel-good pie. We consider it a must-have menu item for our family gatherings all year long.
Texas Lemon Chess Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Whipped cream, optional


  1. Unroll pastry into a 9-in. pie plate; flute edges. Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights.
  2. Bake at 400° on lower oven rack for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights: bake 6-9 minutes longer or until bottom of crust is light brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, cornmeal and vanilla. Stir in milk and lemon juice. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into crust. Cover edges with foil to prevent overbrowning.
  5. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours or until chilled. Serve with whipped cream if desired.