Mama's Chess Pie

Cathy Smith


This particular recipe is quite old, it is older than I am so it is 56* years. It has graced almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and still one of my favorites.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

This old family recipe is a gem. It's creamy and smooth with a sweet, rich brown butter flavor. Brushing egg white on the crust and par-baking it helps the crust hold up well. It gives the crust excellent flakiness. Easy to make, this is a divine holiday dessert. We're ready to try the lemon version too!

Note: Use a pie shield or foil to cover the pie crust when baking to prevent over-browning. We also suggest baking this on a cookie sheet to prevent the filling from coming out of the pie shell. The Test Kitchen


★★★★★ 2 votes

5 Min
55 Min


  • 4 large
  • 1/2 c
    butter softened
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 2 Tbsp
    evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla *see note*
  • 1
    unbaked pie shell *see note*

How to Make Mama's Chess Pie


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Note: I love a flaky crust so have found this to help, while baking keep a beaten egg white handy. Brush the unbaked pie shell bottom and sides with the beaten egg white.
  2. Bake that for 7-minutes. Let it cool then proceed on.
  3. Beat eggs and butter until light and lemon colored.
  4. Sprinkle in the remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Then add the evaporated milk and vanilla.
  6. Pour this into the pie shell.
  7. Bake for 55-65 minutes until set.
  8. NOTE: You can make this a lemon chess pie by adding 1/4 cup lemon juice and the zest from one lemon.

Printable Recipe Card

About Mama's Chess Pie

Course/Dish: Pies
Main Ingredient: Sugar
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Heirloom

Show 12 Comments & Reviews

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