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Monday, November 25, 2019

Honey Chess Pie - Made by MiMi

Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

close slice of honey chess pie

Give that southern staple a fun makeover. The custardy base is kissed with honey to give it a nice depth of flavor. While the origins of the chess pie name are up for debate, the fact that it's good isn't. Go ahead and whip one up for dessert today!

Kristie was in Nashville, Tennessee recently and was lucky enough to go to the Loveless Cafe. I asked her to bring me home their cookbooks.

 For our family dinner this week, I decided to make the entire meal out of those cookbooks.  The recipe for this honey chess pie is in the book titled "Desserts From The Famous Loveless Cafe."

 I chose to use my regular flaky pie crust recipe for this.  The filling is taken directly from the cookbook.

whole honey chess pie with bowls of honey, cinnamon and brown sugar nearby and pie serve ready to go

     Chess pies are new to us lifelong mid-westerners.  Though it seems like many of the Southern cooks have a version.

    Being new to me, I did a little looking around to see where the chess name came from.  It just seems like such an odd name for a pie.

    I will share what my pursuit of the truth taught me, though I am not sure it will clear the question entirely.  I suppose we'll just have to eat another slice of pie while we ponder it!

     It seems like there are a handful of opinions.  The recipes go back as far as the 1700s, where there was a recipe for making cheese pie without cheese curd.

first slice of honey chess pie served on plate

    Basically it describes making a custard and turning it into a pie. So that leads to the idea that chess comes from a pronunciation of cheese.

    Which does make we wonder what kind of cheese pie they were making in the 1700s. Perhaps a farmer's cheese version of a cheesecake type pie?

   Or it could be that the chess comes from chest.  It is said that this pie is so sweet it can be kept in a chest rather than being refrigerated.

    The last idea is that chess is how somebody wrote out the pronunciation of 'jes as it in it's 'jes a pie.

   Who knows?!  No matter where the name came from, it is a tasty pie.  It has the same custardy texture as a pumpkin pie, but without the pumpkin or spice.

slice of honey chess pie ready to eat with remaining pie in background

    Instead it has a nice honey flavor that hits you as you swallow. I have read about a lemon buttermilk chess pie... I think a bigger splash of lemon would be great in this pie as well!

   Maybe our next chess pie should be a honey lemon chess pie.  If you want to easily kick up the lemon flavor in this pie without throwing off the liquid balance, you could easily add a teaspoon of lemon extract or a little bit of lemon zest.

Tips for serving your honey chess pie: 

  • Refrigerating this pie will make it easier to cut. 
  • It tastes better at room temperature.  Sometimes cold temperature can dull the flavors.
  • It is suggested to chill the pie thoroughly and cut it into slices and let them stand on their plates for at least a half hour before serving.
Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

Some other old fashioned pie recipes you will love:

  • If you have never tried a Baked Peanut Butter Pie, you simply have to. It is another custard-y textured pie but loaded with peanut butter flavor. It is almost like a silky smooth peanut version of pecan pie. 
  • Believe it or not, some people also Oatmeal Pie to pecan pie. The mix of oatmeal and coconut sounds strange, but it really makes for a fabulous pie filling.
  • We love making Blackberry Pie with berries from our backyard. A slice of warm pie and a scoop of ice cream is a little bit of summer heaven. 
  • Another great honey and lemon pairing in pie form is Lemon Pie with Honeyed Whipped Cream. It is creamy and delicious. 
This recipe was originally posted in June of 2015. It was high time the pictures were updated.  Below is one of the old pictures in case you came from an old pin on Pinterest.

slices of honey chess pie served on various colors of fiesta dishes

chess pie, honey chess pie, chess pie with honey and lemon, easy pie recipe, honey lemon pie
Yield: 12 servings

Honey Chess Pie

Honey Chess Pie

Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 55 Mtotal time: 70 M


  • 1 recipe pie crust dough
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons cornmeal, preferably white
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


How to cook Honey Chess Pie

  1. Make dough for pie crust. Roll the dough and fit it into pie pan. Put it in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Take dough out of the refrigerator and prick with a fork all over the bottom. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges start to set. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights and brush the bottom lightly with an egg white that has been lightly beaten with a pinch of salt added to prevent sogginess.
  4. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown. Let cool before filling.
  5. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the par baked pie shell on a baking sheet and set aside. 
  6. Place the honey, brown sugar, butter, cornmeal, flour, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
  7. With the machine running, add the eggs, one at a time, processing until blended. Scrape the bowl after each addition. With the machine on, add the lemon juice and then the heavy cream through the feed tube.
  8. Scrape the filling into the pie shell. It will be runnier than you might expect, but it will set up. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges puff up slightly and the center is firm. Let cool completely before serving.
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Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee
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Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

Enjoy this honey sweetened twist on a chess pie. With a kiss of lemon, honey richness and lots of chess pie goodness, it is a perfect treat for almost any occasion!

Shared at the Weekend Potluck  and Meal Plan Monday


  1. Holy moley! That's a slice of delicious heart attack right there. Want!

  2. Yum! That looks good- I am a pie person. :)

    1. I am becoming one too! I used to really lean toward cakes, but lately I have been more into pies and cookies.

  3. This looks really good. I had never heard of chess pie but boy I think I would love it! Found you on the Tips and Tricks party!

    1. I had never tried one either before MiMi made this one and it was delicious!

  4. This looks so yummy!! I love going to amazing one-of-a-kind cafes and being able to to buy their makes everything inside the pages extra special, and I bet this pie is no exception! :) Pinned!

    1. I love them too! It is so much more fun than going to a chain. Plus you get the feeling that they are making their pies just the way grandma taught them!

  5. I love that you made your family dinner from the cafe's cookbook! This honey chess pie, no matter where the name comes from, sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

    1. It was a lot of fun and the pie was delicious! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Yum yum yum! This looks soooo delicious. Stopping by from Lady Behind the Curtain - would love for you to stop by my baking blog to say hello! x

  7. Thanks for another yummy pie Carlee, thanks for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom

    1. We have really been on a pie kick around here lately! Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend!

  8. SOMEDAY I will finally break down and make a chess pie so I can taste one!! I keep hearing about them but have yet to try it myself. :) Thank you so much for linking up at Snickerdoodle Sunday- hope to see you again this weekend!

    Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)

    1. That's part of the reason why we chose this recipe! We had heard of chess pies but never had one. They aren't common in our area. Thanks for hosting, see you next weekend!

  9. I'm in love with this! Thank you for sharing this with us! Pinned and tweeted! I hope to see you at tonight's party. We are always so impressed with your creations and can't wait to see them! Lou Lou Girls

  10. I cannot wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  11. Chess pie - that takes me back to my childhood!

    1. I am glad we finally tried one! They aren't common in our area, but I had heard a lot about them.

  12. Yum! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty. Hope you join us again next week! The door opens Friday EST.

    1. It really was delicious! Thanks for hosting, see you next week!

  13. Hm. I always wondered why it was called a chess pie... Sounds yummy!

    1. It seems like we may never know the real answer!!

  14. This looks amazing!! Thanks for Linking up on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! I love having You!! Pinned!!

    1. Thanks and thanks for hosting! See you tomorrow!

  15. This is a beautiful pie and I can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

    1. It was very tasty and fun to try something new! Thanks so much for hosting!

  16. These do look like slices of heaven and I love the idea make it a whole meal from a beloved cookbook.

  17. I have never heard of Chess Pie. It does look delicious however! I think that I will have to take a try at it.

  18. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!