Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vanilla Chess Pie


A couple of weeks ago we had our annual Friendsgiving dinner and I made this delicious Cranberry Chess Pie.  It was amazing so I wanted to make it again for Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, my father-in-law doesn't eat fruit, or vegetables for that matter, but that's not important to this story.  In an effort to be a nice daughter in law I decided to make it without the cranberries or the orange zest so that everyone could enjoy it.

Because I was taking out two strong flavors, I added more vanilla paste to amp up the vanilla flavor.  This pie was A-MA-ZING!  This was only my second experience with a chess pie (the cranberry version was my first) and all I can say is, "where have you been all my life?!"  If you are a fan of custardy desserts then this pie is for you.  It is also super quick and easy to whip up.

Start out by preheating your oven to 350 and putting a pie crust into a pie plate (I used a refrigerated one because it's faster and easier for me).

Put some unsalted butter and sugar in your stand mixer and mix on medium until it is nice and fluffy.  Doesn't that look good?  I could seriously eat it like that (pregnancy makes these feelings totally normal).


While your butter and sugar are getting friendly, in a small bowl combine some flour, cornmeal (I used polenta because that's what I had), and a little salt.

In a measuring cup combine some buttermilk and the vanilla paste.  Look at all of those beautiful specks of vanilla in there.  Whoever created vanilla paste deserves a holiday, or at the very least some sort of plaque acknowledging their contribution to mankind.


Once your sugar and butter are ready, add in your eggs, scraping the bowl between each one.  Then alternate adding in the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Give it one last stir/scrape and then pour it into the pie crust.


Bake it for about 40 minutes, rotating it after 20.  I loosely covered mine with foil 30 minutes into the baking time so it wouldn't get too brown.   Let it cool to room temperature.  You can serve it like that, but I like mine cold so I refrigerated it and then just pulled it out of the fridge about an hour before we were going to eat it.


I seriously cannot get enough of the vanilla bean flecks.  I have a small obsession with the vanilla paste if you can't tell.


This pie is also really yummy for breakfast but don't tell anyone I said that.  I never eat dessert for breakfast.


Vanilla Chess Pie
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 tbls. flour
  • 1 tbls. cornmeal or polenta (not quick cook)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tbls. vanilla paste
  1. Unroll pie crust into a pie plate and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping after each.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt.
  5. Measure out buttermilk and stir in vanilla paste.
  6. Add flour mixture and vanilla buttermilk to sugar mixture, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  7. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes rotating halfway through.  If the top starts to get too brown, loosely cover with foil for the last 10 minutes.

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