The name Chess Pie has a couple of possible derivations. One idea is that it was kept in a pie chest like many pies prior to refrigeration, and eventually, the “t” was dropped. The other idea is that on-hand ingredients were used to whip up what was called “just pie” in a southern drawl, which sounded like Chess Pie. My pie is nearly always present at our family gatherings and comes from an original recipe given to me by Roseann Downey.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 homemade pie crust, or your favorite prepackaged (if you are like me)


  • Combine sugar and eggs with a wire whisk and mix well.
  • Add remaining ingredients and pour into unbaked pie crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Let pie set for two hours before serving. Enjoy!