The Southern Chess Pie

Here is an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or an Anytime pie!

In my late teens, a co-worker would bring this pie whenever there was a potluck. I enjoyed trying new recipes, especially desserts, so I asked her for the recipe. She grabbed a small piece of paper from her desk and wrote it down. She did this quickly, without too many detailed instructions, just some good ole recipe writing. 

Way, way, back, it seems like things were just simple. Now we have technology and resources at our fingertips. As advanced as our world has become, the nostalgia of when things seem to take a little longer, or when we had to go a little further for resources, and time felt like an eternity, it’s priceless.

This recipe takes me back to that time. I still have that small piece of paper with the recipe written, which is a keepsake. 

The beauty of this pie is that you just mix all the ingredients, pour it into a deep dish pie crust, bake and you have yourself a delicious pie. Simple as that!

I do not know the full history of the Southern Chess Pie or Chess Pie, but all I can say is, “Wow!” It’s, sweet, and creamy, with a warm vanilla flavor. And when topped with some whipped cream, you have a dreamy dessert. The baker in me wants to get creative and make small changes, but out of respect for the one who shared this recipe with me, I follow it exactly every time!

So, if you are someone who is hesitant in making pies, this is a great way to start. 

Let me let you in on a secret…I love pies, but I have not mastered the art of pie making, especially the flaky crust! But I can get by. This pie makes me look like I’m a great pie maker especially since it calls for a pre-made frozen pie crust…ha! I encourage you to give it a try!

The Southern Chess Pie

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 35 mins Total Time 45 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



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  1. Preheat oven to 375° F

    Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan and heat just until melted. Do not overheat. 

    Have the rest of the ingredients measured and ready!

  2. In a medium bowl add the sugar, flour, egg yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

  3. With a hand mixer, beat until all ingredients are well combined.

  4. Pour mixture into the 9" deep dish pie crust.

    Bake for 35-38 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven when top forms like a light golden crust. You can also test it with a toothpick by poking the center. 

    Let it cool for about 1-2 hours at room temperature.

  6. Once cool, you are ready to cut and enjoy. 

    This pie tastes its best at room temperature. 


  7. You can also top it with whipped cream and add some sprinkles for the holidays!


*After melting the butter, let it cool a bit if it's too hot. If your melted butter is too hot it can cook the egg yolks.

*Make sure your oven is 375° F, I use an oven thermometer to be sure the oven is at the right temperature. 

*Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to have another slice, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

*I used my own pure vanilla extract. To learn how to make your own, click here!

Keywords: pie, chess pie, desserts

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