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Honey Chess Pie

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Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

close slice of honey chess pie

Give that southern staple a fun makeover. The custardy base is kissed with honey to give it a nice depth of flavor. While the origins of the chess pie name are up for debate, the fact that it’s good isn’t. Go ahead and whip one up for dessert today!

Kristie was in Nashville, Tennessee recently and was lucky enough to go to the Loveless Cafe. I asked her to bring me home their cookbooks.

 For our family dinner this week, I decided to make the entire meal out of those cookbooks.  The recipe for this honey chess pie is in the book titled “Desserts From The Famous Loveless Cafe.”

 I chose to use my regular flaky pie crust recipe for this.  The filling is taken directly from the cookbook.

-MiMi

whole honey chess pie with bowls of honey, cinnamon and brown sugar nearby and pie serve ready to go

     Chess pies are new to us lifelong mid-westerners.  Though it seems like many of the Southern cooks have a version.

    Being new to me, I did a little looking around to see where the chess name came from.  It just seems like such an odd name for a pie.

    I will share what my pursuit of the truth taught me, though I am not sure it will clear the question entirely.  I suppose we’ll just have to eat another slice of pie while we ponder it!

     It seems like there are a handful of opinions.  The recipes go back as far as the 1700s, where there was a recipe for making cheese pie without cheese curd.

first slice of honey chess pie served on plate

    Basically it describes making a custard and turning it into a pie. So that leads to the idea that chess comes from a pronunciation of cheese.

    Which does make we wonder what kind of cheese pie they were making in the 1700s. Perhaps a farmer’s cheese version of a cheesecake type pie?

   Or it could be that the chess comes from chest.  It is said that this pie is so sweet it can be kept in a chest rather than being refrigerated.

    The last idea is that chess is how somebody wrote out the pronunciation of ‘jes as it in it’s ‘jes a pie.

   Who knows?!  No matter where the name came from, it is a tasty pie.  It has the same custardy texture as a pumpkin pie, but without the pumpkin or spice.

slice of honey chess pie ready to eat with remaining pie in background

    Instead it has a nice honey flavor that hits you as you swallow. I have read about a lemon buttermilk chess pie… I think a bigger splash of lemon would be great in this pie as well!

   Maybe our next chess pie should be a honey lemon chess pie.  If you want to easily kick up the lemon flavor in this pie without throwing off the liquid balance, you could easily add a teaspoon of lemon extract or a little bit of lemon zest.

Tips for serving your honey chess pie:

  • Refrigerating this pie will make it easier to cut. 
  • It tastes better at room temperature.  Sometimes cold temperature can dull the flavors.
  • It is suggested to chill the pie thoroughly and cut it into slices and let them stand on their plates for at least a half hour before serving.
whole honey chess pie and pie server.

This recipe was originally posted in June of 2015. It was high time the pictures were updated.  Below is one of the old pictures in case you came from an old pin on Pinterest.

picture of slices of honey chess pie served on various colors of Fiesta plates ready to eat.
Yield: 12 Servings

Honey Chess Pie

slice of chess pie sweetened with honey ready to eat.

Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust dough
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons cornmeal, preferably white
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Make dough for pie crust. Roll the dough and fit it into pie pan. Put it in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Take dough out of the refrigerator and prick with a fork all over the bottom. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges start to set. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights and brush the bottom lightly with an egg white that has been lightly beaten with a pinch of salt added to prevent sogginess.
  4. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown. Let cool before filling.
  5. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the par baked pie shell on a baking sheet and set aside. 
  6. Place the honey, brown sugar, butter, cornmeal, flour, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
  7. With the machine running, add the eggs, one at a time, processing until blended. Scrape the bowl after each addition. With the machine on, add the lemon juice and then the heavy cream through the feed tube.
  8. Scrape the filling into the pie shell. It will be runnier than you might expect, but it will set up. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges puff up slightly and the center is firm. Let cool completely before serving.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

whole honey chess pie and pie server.

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