What Does Chess Pie Taste Like? Why Is It Called Chess Pie?


You probably have just found out that chess pie exists! While this dessert may not be as popular as apple or pumpkin, we are convinced it is just as delicious. To help you decide if you want to try or cook this Southern classic, we will break down what a chess pie is and what chess pie tastes like. After reading our article, you will be a certified chess pie expert!

What Is a Chess Pie?

Chess pie is a sweet Southern dessert similar to a custard pie. It is thought to be based on the English lemon curd pie and has been made in America since the 1700s! Chess pie comes in 4 varieties, chocolate, lemon, nut, and buttermilk.

Chess pie is a simple pie made from flour, vinegar, cornmeal, butter, sugar, eggs, and condensed milk. The addition of cornmeal and vinegar distinguishes a chess pie from a regular custard pie. You can create an orange or lemon chess pie by switching out the vinegar for lemon or orange juice.

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How would you describe a chess pie? A chess pie is a custard sugar pie that also contains vinegar and cornmeal, which adds a unique flavor and texture. It is a single crust pie with a rich and smoothly sweet eggy custard filling.

Chess pies are very popular in the South. A chess pie has a lovely rich custard filling made from eggs and condensed milk. Chess pie has a buttery flavor and even a slight tartness thanks to the vinegar. The classic pie crust adds lovely flakiness, which pairs with the custard filling.

Why Is It Called a Chess Pie?

There is no definitive answer on how the chess pie got its name. Some claim it is a mispronunciation of cheese pie which looks similar. Others believe it used to contain so much sugar that it could be stored in a pie chest. 

Southerners have something called a pie chest. This chest of draws was used specifically to allow pies to cool. Experts believe that because the chess pie used to contain such a high amount of sugar that it could be stored in a pie chest for extended periods of time and much longer than other pies. Experts are convinced that the chess pie was originally known as a chest pie and the name eventually morphed into chess pie.

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Does a chess pie have nuts? An original chess pie does not contain nuts. A traditional chess pie is made from eggs, condensed milk, cornmeal, flour, butter, sugar, and vinegar. However, there is a popular variation that is made with walnuts or pecans.

Classic chess pies are very basic and are like a plain custard pie with added vinegar and cornmeal, which alter the texture and add a slight tartness. In recent years people have altered the classic recipe and switched out the vinegar for lime or orange juice or added cocoa powder to give it a chocolate flavor. You can even find nut chess pies topped with pecans or walnuts.

Is chess pie the same as pecan pie? A classic chess pie does not contain pecans. Also, a chess pie is made with condensed milk, vinegar, and cornmeal. In comparison, a pecan pie is topped with pecans and is made with corn syrup, butter, and eggs, and is usually served with whipped cream.

People often confuse chess and pecan pies. Chess pies are made with butter, flour, sugar, eggs, condensed milk, vinegar, and cornmeal and traditionally feature no nuts. Pecan pies are made from corn syrup, butter, and eggs. While a chess and pecan pie are different, you can actually make a pecan topped chess pie.

What Does Chess Pie Taste Like?

Chess pie tastes sweet, rich, and buttery. Chess pie tastes like custard and creme brulee. The single pastry crust adds lovely flakiness, and the vinegar brings a touch of tartness. It is sweet but not overly so and is an all-around delicious, simple pie that is perfect for any occasion.

Chess pie is like a creme brulee flavored pie. It has a lovely smooth sweetness and is oh so rich and buttery. It tastes slightly different from your standard custard because it contains vinegar and cornmeal. If you are looking for a rich, eggy, and buttery dessert, we recommend whipping up a chess pie!

Why is chess pie so good? Chess pie is so good because of its simplicity! It has a lovely sweet and rich buttery custard filling which leaves you with a sense of fulfillment. The added cornmeal adds a unique texture, while the vinegar adds a tartness, balancing the sweetness of the condensed milk.

Chess pie is a naughty but oh-so-satisfying simplistic treat! The custard filling is enough to send you on a one-way ticket to taste bud heaven. Chess pie is the perfect mix of rich, buttery, and sweet. The pie crust is flaky and delicious, and the added vinegar adds a surprising but welcomed, very slight tartness.

Is chess pie supposed to be jiggly? A well-made chess pie should be slightly jiggly just like a yummy custard. However, it should not be runny or sloshy. If your pie is too jiggly or runny, leave it in the oven for an extra 5 minutes.

A chess pie should not be firm. This Southern classic dessert pie should have a gentle jiggle to it. If it is firm in the middle, you have overcooked it. However, don’t take out your chess pie when it is runny and jiggling all over the place! If you are dealing with a very jiggly chess pie, just leave it in the oven for an extra 5 minutes.

Does chess pie taste sweet? Chess pie tastes buttery and sweet. It is not overly sweet, but the condensed milk definitely adds a burst of sweetness. The sweetness is balanced by a slight tartness from the vinegar and the flaky buttery crust. It also has a rich custard taste.

A chess pie should be sweet. After all, it contains sugar and condensed milk! However, it is not as sweet as other pies because the vinegar and buttermilk add a slight tartness. The filling has a rich buttery custard taste, and pie crust adds a flaky texture and further buttery notes.

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What Is the Difference Between a Chess Pie and a Custard Pie?

A chess pie and custard are very similar as they both have a rich, buttery, and sweet custard filling. However, a chess pie contains cornmeal and vinegar, while a custard pie does not. The cornmeal adds a dense structure, while the vinegar adds a slight tartness.

Chess pies and custard pies are made from milk, eggs, butter, sugar, and condensed milk. Both of these pies have a slightly jiggly, sweet, buttery, and rich custard filling. However, a chess pie has two added ingredients, vinegar, and cornmeal. The acidity from the vinegar balances the sweetness of the chess pie, while the cornmeal adds a lovely thickness!

Final Thoughts

Chess pie is a popular sweet Southern dessert. Even though it is not as popular across the US as apple or pumpkin pie, it is a big hit in the South. Chess pie is incredibly simple and easy to make, featuring the following ingredients; flour, sugar, butter, eggs, cornmeal, condensed milk, and vinegar. Chess pie is sweet but not overly so and has a rich and buttery custard filling combined with a rich and flaky single crust. If you are looking for a yummy, new and easy pie to make, we recommend baking a chess pie today!

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