Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chess Pie is easy and tasty!

Hello! Thanksgiving has passed us, and now we can move on to Christmas! I'm... honestly not that excited about it. Honestly, all that saccharine fake cheer drives me mad. And Christmas presents have changed from getting things to yet another sign that the retail industry cannot shut up. I mean really, there were candy canes and garlands coming out before Halloween. Christmas used to be a holiday, now all I get out of it is wall-to-wall Jingle Bells and newscasters yammering about whether Christmas Spending is going up or down. And, of course, the yahoos who spring up right on schedule to make screeds about how there's a War On Christmas. Call me a grump if you will, but I'm a bit disenchanted with the holiday.
Anyway, Christmas does bring us a few things I like, and one of them is baking! Today, we at A Book of Cookrye are pleased to make... chess pie!

Chess Pie
1 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
1¼ c sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 eggs
¼ lb (½ c) butter or margarine
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 unbaked pie shell

Heat oven to 350°.
Mix crumbs, sugar and flour. Thoroughly beat in eggs. Add to butter; cream thoroughly. Add vanilla and vinegar; pour into pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes (55 in a metal or foil pan).

Mrs. W G Byrd, El Reno, Oklahoma; Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts, 1968

Right from the beginning, you get the idea this isn't going to be healthy. But you know what? At this time of year, with swimsuits still far off enough that you can work off whatever you've done in time (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere), why not?
No, please, egg whites only. I hear the yolks make you fat.

And then you get to the point where you've melted a whole stick of butter. I swear, any other time of year I'd pass on this one, but it's wintertime.
The butter has swallowed the other ingredients.

This is my grandmother's favorite pie I make. I will say I only discovered it by accident. There's this bakery by her house that sells this odd cheesecake that's not quite a cheesecake which I always have to get whenever we visit. For the longest time, the label was misspelled "Chess Cake." Anyway, I found a recipe for Chess Pie and thought it was the same thing I loved buying in said bakery and made it. It is not. I was disappointed until I tried a slice.
Copious vanilla and vinegar. I still don't know why it works.

However, it is amazing and delicious and makes its own top crust. Y'know how butter foams up when melted? Well, the foam rises to the top and bakes crispy.


Anyway, this pie is amazing. You should try it.

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