This is my second attempt at Chess Pie. For Easter I had the bright idea to make crustless Chess Pies. For all intents and purposes a Chess Pie is baked custard. Buttermilk Pie has the same texture but doesn’t include the small amount of cornmeal that Chess Pie does. I made the filling and baked it in ramekins. Part two of that bright idea was to sprinkle the baked pies with raw sugar and then brulee the top. I over baked them and there was really nothing to brulee. A couple of them were edible enough to discern the taste but that’s about it. What we did taste was good enough to let us know, well let me know I wanted more. This time I would bake it as a full pie with a crust and add lemon. Pretty hefty task after bombing the first time. If nothing else I’m ambitious.
After reading so much about the goodness of Meyer lemons I decided to make a Meyer Lemon Chess Pie. What a pleasant surprise and why didn’t I do this sooner!!! Meyer lemons are tart and sweet at the same time and definitely have an orange vibe going on. I was also pleased that they yielded so much juice and were easy to juice. Winning all the way around!
The most challenging part of this baking experience was making the crust from scratch. Use your favorite recipe or a premade crust, whatever works best for you. Mine wasn’t a disaster and it wasn’t the prettiest, but it was good. It also didn’t last long, that’s always a good sign.
Meyer Lemon Chess Pie – adapted from Taste of Home
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice from Meyer Lemons
¼ cup butter, melted
1 TBS cornmeal
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
I love it when a recipe says to beat eggs until lemon colored. Aren’t they already lemon colored? Beat eggs for 3 minutes. They should be thick and deeper in color. I like that description better. Gradually add sugar; the mixture should thicken even more. This should take approximately 2 more minutes. Beat in the Meyer lemon juice, butter, cornmeal, flour and salt. This entire process could also be done in a blender. Pour the filling mixture into a pastry shell. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool this on a wire rack for 1 hour and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. As tempted as I was to dive into this before the recommended fridge time I thought it best to wait. It is a custard filling and it does need that much time to set. Enjoy!
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