Jefferson Davis Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes at least



Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Named after the president of the Confederacy and most likely created during The War Between the States, this pie is basically a spicy version of chess pie and has as many versions throughout the South as pecan pie and sweet potato pie. I’ve eaten it in Mississippi with chopped dates, in Tennessee with dried apricots, and at home in North Carolina with crystallized fruits, but I still say the best Jeff Davis pie is one not gussied up with anything but a few golden raisins. This, by the way, is a great pie to serve at a gumbo or Brunswick stew party.


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup seedless golden raisins
  • One unbaked 9- or 10-inch Basic Pie Shell


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and two sugars with an electric mixer till fluffy. Add the flour and eggs, and beat till well blended. Add the half-and-half, bourbon, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla and continue to beat till well blended and smooth. Stir in the raisins, scrape the mixture into the pie shell, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a rack. Serve in wedges at room temperature or chilled.