The origin of the name “chess pie” was explained to me on a visit to Kentucky as follows: A visitor to the South went to a dining establishment. At the time for dessert, the waitress told him that pie was included. He said he would like apple pie and she replied that it was not served. “Then I’ll take peach,” he said. No peach either. “What kind of pie do you serve?” he asked. “Jes’ pie,” she told him.
When in the course of reporting recipes for publication in The New York Times I have mentioned the dessert known as chess pie, the response has always been impressive beyond my wildest imagination. I have been told repeatedly in each letter that I did not know how to prepare the genuine article. The following recipe came to me anonymously. It was signed “A True Southern Belle.”
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.