Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baking Challenge - April '10

It's time for another Martha Baking Challenge - Chess Tart (a.k.a pie).

What is a Chess Pie, you ask? Wikipedia says:
Chess pie is a particularly sugary dessert characteristic of Southern U.S. cuisine. According to James Beard's American Cookery (1972) chess pie was brought from England originally, and was found in New England as well as Virginia. Recipes vary, but are generally similar in that they call for the preparation of a single crust and a filling composed of eggs, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. What sets chess pie apart from many other custard pies is the addition of corn meal.
All I know is that when I saw the crust was made from Nilla Wafers, we had a winner. My husband loves these little cookies more than me anything.

To get started, you must grind your cookies. Then combine them with butter, sugar, and salt. The recipe said "mix" but since I already had the food processor out I let it do all the work.

I used a drinking glass to press in the crust into a tart pan with a removable bottom (side note: i was able to pop the pie out but the bottom stuck on good! I'd recommend lining it with parchment paper). Then gently press the crumbs up the side.

This gets baked a bit before the filling goes in.  The filling consists of sugar, brown sugar, cornmeal, salt, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Fill the crust and bake again. Then Chill.

I thought it was so cool that the filling forms a crust and stays all gooey inside. And it is so yummy!!

This was pretty easy to put together. Inexpensive and easily accessible ingredients. I did have to buy the pan, but I got it at Homegoods for $6. You should definitely give this one a try.  You could also toss in some choc chips or nuts, or make them mini.

I'm a bit disappointed with May's challenge - a spin on a brown cow. I love ice cream, but there is no baking involved. However, I will be making a flavored syrup from scratch.

Linking to: A Soft Place to Land DIY Day



  1. That looks delicious, Heather! Before I had to go gluten free, I could finish off a whole box of Nilla Wafers in one sitting! Have you ever done a Baked Alaska? Those are amazing ~ meringue protects the ice cream from melting in the oven. I used to make it all the time when my kids were little. I may have to brng that recipe out again over the Summer this year.

  2. Heather, that looks delicious! I've never had chess pie, but it looks really yummy!

  3. In all my years of baking I have never made one of these. Maybe it was the name or the use of cornmeal, I don't know, but I think it's because I never tasted one before and I tend to stick with things I know. Good for you to try something new. The filling reminds me of peacan pie filling without the nuts but with cornmeal. If that's the case, it looks like a winner to me! :) xoxo

  4. I've never heard of such a pie. How neat that the crust forms on the top like that. Did the cornmeal do that? I'm anxious to hear about how making your own flavoured syrup goes. I wonder if you can put it in coffee. CAn't wait to see!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...