Chess Pie

If sugar intake concerns you, this is not the recipe for you. You may just want to move on to the next pie recipe. The pie is pretty much just sugar (lots of it), eggs, butter and milk. Oh, there is a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal, but that is it.

There are many Chess pie recipes out there that are similar, but this is the one that I like the best. I modified it just a bit by adding nutmeg to the filling.

The original recipe suggested that you use a 10 inch pie plate due to the quantity of filling. I have never seen one of those. Instead I used a large and deep ceramic dish and that worked just fine.

I have made this recipe several times and it has always turned out slightly different each time. The tricky part is knowing when the filling is set. If you poke the filling with a toothpick and it comes out clean, you know that the filling is set.

During the baking process the cornmeal in the filling rises to the top and forms a thin crust. When the pie cools the crust may crack, but that is OK.

Chess Pie

Bettie Bryant
An ooey, gooey pie that has a unique taste and texture.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8



  • 1 deep dish 9 inch unbaked crust


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk


  • Combine sugar and butter in large bowl.
  • Beat at low speed of mixer until blended.
  • Beat in eggs cornmeal, vanilla and salt.
  • Add milk.
  • Beat at low speed until blended.
  • Pour into unbaked pie shell.
  • Bake at 350 for one hour to 1 hour 20 minutes or until filling is set.


The original recipe calls for the filling to be placed in a 10 inch pie plate as the recipe results in an ample filling. I used a deep 9 inch ceramic pie plate instead. I also modified the original recipe to include nutmeg.
The cornmeal in the filling rises to the top during the baking process to form a thin crust. As the pie cools, the crust may crack, but that is OK.
This is the only recipe that I do not start the baking process at an oven temperature of 425 degrees. Starting at a high oven temperature can burn the cornmeal crust.
Knowing when the filling is set can be a little tricky. Insert a toothpick in the center of the pie and when it comes out clean the filling is set. 
Keyword creamy, custard