While I'm patiently/impatiently waiting for my workday to be over, I thought I'd share a quick recipe.
Funny story...Brandon had to make mini pie tins for me out of a foil cupcake pan. It involved a lot of sharp edges and things, but they were great and aren't those mini pies cute?! And then halfway through baking these, I realized I had a couple of 4" cake pans that would work, which is why you see that monster-mini pie on the bottom left.
The first time I ever tried a chess pie was at Bang Bang Pie Shop, which is probably one of Chicago's most coveted nommeries. (Can I make "nommery" a word? No? Damn.) I've written about them before, and if you are ever in town, please do yourself a favor and go there. Their buttermilk chess pie was so so good. I immediately knew I'd have to try to make a chess pie one day. And then I promptly forgot about chess pie for like a year.
Chess pie is, in essence, a custard-type pie, but in order to dress it self up all proper-like, throws in some cornmeal, which completely changes the texture game altogether. I'm pretty sure chess pie is a southern thing...the flavors and textures just sort of scream "hey! I'm an awesome southern food!" and I can totally see a group of adorable old ladies sitting on a porch with sweet tea and chess pie. Obviously, I've never been to the south, and need a better perspective.
Oh, and you shouldn't worry. This tasty pie has avoided the wrath of Paula Deen and her sticks-of-butter army. The ingredients are manageable, and are most likely things you likely have in your kitchen already. It comes together so easily, you have no excuse not to try it!
Lemon-Buttermilk Chess Pie
1 recipe classic pie crust (use your favorite…store bought will work in a pinch, too)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons
2 TB fine cornmeal (flour will work here, too)
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp salt
Lavender sugar or vanilla sugar, to garnish (optional)
Roll out your dough, and place it in your desired pan(s). Par-bake your dough, according to your favorite recipe’s instructions. (For me, that meant 12-20 minutes at 450F, but use the time and temp that your recipe suggests).
Once your crust is par-baked, set aside to cool. Set your oven temp to 350F.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Whisk in the buttermilk, zest, cornmeal/four, butter, and salt.
Place your par-baked pie crust(s) on a baking sheet (to catch any accidental overflow), and pour the filling into your crust(s).
Bake for 20-30 minutes (it may take more or less time, depending on the size of your pies and you oven!), or until the filling has just set and is still slightly wobbly in the center.
Remove the pie to cool completely before serving.
Store in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.
Before serving, garnish with vanilla or lavender sugar, if desired. You could also top with some barely-sweetened whipped cream.