Last week, my friend Nelo gave me a recipe for chess pie. Gert, the cook at the summer camp I went to growing up, used to make chess pie for special occasions. I remember its custardy, rich taste and was anxious to try my hand at making it. I have heard people talk about lemon chess pie or chocolate chess pie, but Gert's chess was plain, and absolutely delicious. The recipe I received is from Saveur, and was simple. I made two- one for Nelo and one for me.
The recipe includes instructions for making the pie crust. I didn't make the crust, I bought a pre-made pie crust I have used before. I didn't have the kind of time it takes to make the crust and make the filling, plus the pre-made crust is a great product. I am leaving out the crust ingredients and instructions here.
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg yolks plus one whole egg
Pre-made crust in 9" pan.
Heat oven to 325°. Pour water into a 4-quart saucepan to a depth of 1"; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk together sugar and salt, brown sugar, buttermilk, nutmeg, egg yolks, and egg.
Set bowl over saucepan. Add butter; cook, whisking frequently, until smooth and warm, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; let cool for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into chilled pie shell. Bake until center is just set, 45–50 minutes. Transfer pie to cooling rack; let cool completely before serving, about 2 hours. That's it! This pie is hard to describe, the flavor is subtle. It is almost like a pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. It's not heavy. With one bite, I was transported back to my summer camp, standing in the kitchen with Gert, trying a bite of something new...and the eggs.