Food - Drink
Chess Pie Is The Southern Staple That Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
By NATASHA BAILEY
The southern region of the U.S. is home to many decadent comfort foods, one of which is a sweet treat called chess pie, an oddly-named dessert with no relation to the game of chess. This fan favorite features a pie shell stuffed with a super-sugary and gooey filling that has a touch of acidity to cut through all the sugar.
Chess pie's history is quite mysterious, but What's Cooking America reports that a recipe appears in First Lady Martha Washington's cookbook from the mid-18th century. Washington's recipe calls for cream, eggs, sugar, butter, and flour, which is similar to modern recipes, but today, bakers like to experiment with their pie.
The basic ingredients for chess pie include sugar, butter, and eggs, but different thickeners like flour, cornstarch, or cornmeal can be used, as well as sweeteners like brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Lemons, grapefruit, or even vinegar can be used to add the essential tart note to the creamy and rich filling.
Other chess pie recipes may include chocolate, buttermilk, and other flavor boosters. As for the name of this dessert, some theorize that "chess" comes from "cheese," though the pie contains no cheese, while others think the pie was kept in a chest before eating, and southern accents eventually morphed "chest" into "chess".