This recipe for Chess Pie comes from Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (Estelle Woods Wilcox, Buckeye Publishing Company, 1877). For modern recipes, I've listed three different Chess Pie recipes on the Pastry Sampler blog as well as a few supposed origins of Chess Pie. The Buckeye Cookery cookbook was dedicated 'To The Plucky Housewives of 1876, Who Master Their Work Instead of Allowing It To Master Them.' In the Preface, the authors state that the greatest source of waste in the household are the mistakes made by the inexperienced, and therefore the book contained tested recipes.
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for the meringue
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- Vanilla, about a teaspoon
Beat the softened butter until very light. Add in the yolks, and stir in the milk and the vanilla. Bake in a moderate oven until lightly browned and set in the center. Whip the whites until frothy and soft peaked, then beat in the 3 tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating until firm peaks form. Spread this over the baked pie, and return to the oven to brown. Serve warm.
Renee Shelton, Creator of PastrySampler.com