Friday, July 1, 2011

Lemon Chess Pie

Like most people, I don't know the origin for the name of this pie.  Some think it is from cheese cake but prepared without the cheese.  Some think it is from a long ago plantation cook who, when asked what she was making, replied "jes pie".  I like to think it originated with my grandmother.  Some use buttermilk in the recipe but nanny preferred lemon juice and zest.

Here is nanny's recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

Lemon Chess Pie 

1 9 inch pie shell.  Nanny made her own.  I use Pillsbury.
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into eight pieces and softened
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time and mix well.
3.  Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, lemon juice and lemon rind.  Mix well.
4.  Pour mixture into the pastry shell
5.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until set in the center.



  1. This sounds yummy! Your grandma had the right idea when she made this recipe!!!


  2. I've never had a chess pie, it does look very good! Happy July 4th Weekend Bonnie:@)

  3. I don't know the origins either, but I love it!

  4. This is a favorite of ours as well --

  5. I like that, "jes' pie" I have not heard that before.

    This sounds yummy and what memories you have while creating this.

    I have never made or eaten chess pie.

  6. wonder how this would do in the US Mail from your house to mine? i am sure i would love it

  7. Okay, not i have made lemon bars but never lemon chess pie. They seem similar in ingredients but I love the look of your pie and the flavors! Wow! I am in love with this creation! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful weekend

  8. Just 2 nights ago, I made a lemon/ricotta pie. The recipe called for 2 tbsp. of lemon juice...not much lemon taste. I see this recipe calls for 1/4 cup, which is probably what I should have used in my recipe.

    I can't see your photo to determine if the texture looks like mine did.

    Have a wonderful day,


  9. Looks fabulous :) I like the little back story on the name too. Fun!

  10. My mother made a wonderful chess pie as well. Although I do not have her recipe. So many of her recipes just came out of her head. Like your Nanny, I love lemon as well. Love the "jes pie".

  11. Just wanted to let you know that it's not a problem on your end. My desk top computer blocks all photos uploaded through Blogger (I upload through something called Image Shack). So, 95% of photos I can't view when I'm on my desk top computer. (It has an anti-porn filter attached to it, and in about February, that filter suddenly began blocking Blogger-uploaded photos.)

    However, when I use my husband's or daughter's laptops, which don't have a filter, I can see photos just fine. Only problem is, I don't often have access to their laptops.

    Just wanted you to know that, so you don't have to wonder if other gals are able to see your photos.

    And by the way, Leesburg is about 50 minutes from where I used to live.

  12. What a fantastic lemon pie; this one is a keeper; thank you and Nanny. Never had lemon chess pie.

  13. I think I believe the jess pie story. I've never made a chess pie but have always been curious... thanks for the great recipe!

  14. So that's chess pie!!! I never knew what it was, I thought it was something with a checkerboard pattern, har har har!! No, I really did! I continue to enjoy your witty and funny comments on my blog, you tickle me pink!

  15. It may be jes pie but it looks delicoius! I know I would love the lemon flavor in it also. How wonderful to still be making a recipe that your Nanny made.

  16. What a gorgeous looking pie - it's lovely having a special family recipe!

  17. I've made something similar for many years (to Nanny's) and we call it Buttermilk Pie. It has lemon flavoring and I do so enjoy it!! This version sounds delicous, too! blessings ~ tanna

  18. All I can say is YUM!
    The photo is calling to me.
    Why do I love to eat so much?
    Because of people like you that have delicious blogs about food...
    Great post, thank you for sharing.

  19. Hi There, So glad to get home and back to blogging. We did have a fabulous trip--but home is pretty nice also!!!!!

    That pie makes my mouth water..... YUM!!!!

  20. When I the phrase Chess Pie--I think of my Mom. She loveed it.

    Happy 4th to you!


  21. We grew up with them being called buttermilk pies. No matter what you call them - yum!

  22. Mmmm, I love cornmeal, and I love lemon, and I love pie crust....I'm going to give this a try. Thanks for the recipe! Looking at the tempting photo, I notice your pie plate looks just like one I've got that belonged to my grandmother....


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