Friday, January 23, 2009

Pineapple Chess Pie

A reader recently requested the recipe for Jude Brown's southern chess pie. She was happy to share it. Jude even provided some history. Why is it called chess pie? No one seems to know, but there are three suggestions:
  • It is a corruption of chest, which is where the sugar was stored (a pie chest)
  • It is a corruption of just ("it's jest a simple pie.")
  • The pie was brought over to the US by folks from Chester, England
Here is the recipe:

1 stick of butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS corn meal
1 c pineapple (canned and drained)

Beat the eggs, then blend everything together and pour into an unbaked 8" pie shell. Bake at 350-400 degrees for approx 1 hour (Jude generally bakes hers at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.)

Jude says the vinegar is added to cut the sweetness. And she points out that traditionally this was a pie baked by simple southern folk who used other ingredients as they were available (lemon juice, chocolate, peaches, pears, etc.).

Enjoy! It's delicious.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates the majestic live oaks on Ocracoke Island. You can read it here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.


  1. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Hi, Jude! Pie sounds scrumptous, not exactly Weight Watchers, but still great! Is the pineapple crushed?

  2. No the pineapple was in small chunks, but I'm sure crushed would work well, too.

  3. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Could it be, someone did not know how to spell cheese or could not afford the cheese in cheese pie? Thus, created a new recipe to enjoy.