As far as I know, chess pie is a very Southern pie. I had certainly never heard of it before moving to Tennessee where it's served in many a diner and meat-n-three. The Thursday night before Joe and I were married, before going to the CMAFest concert at LP Field, we ate at Sylvan Park Restaurant with our maid of honor, her boyfriend, and our best man. The best man wasn't too hungry, so he just ordered a slice of chess pie which he shared with the rest of us. My first bite of chess pie was very sweet but offset by creaminess. It was different from anything I had ever really had before in a pie crust.
My favorite story surrounding the name of chess pie is one that I found on southernfood.about.com: 'A creative Southern housewife came up with the concoction and tried it out on her husband, who loved it. "What kind of pie is this?" he is said to have exclaimed. His wife shrugged and smiled. "I don't know," she said; "it's ches' pie."'
After the success of the peach pie, Joe suggested I try out chess pie. I had another pie crust leftover from when I made the quiche, so it was perfect. The chess pie turned out very well. Joe astutely noted that chess pie is a lot like "the southern-version of flan" with the caramelized sugar on top and the sweet custardy goodness underneath. Served room temperature with a few blueberries or strawberries on the side, it's a great finish to a meal.
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used low-fat. Every little bit helps!)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (I used deep dish. It was what I had, and the filling worked perfectly with it.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Pour filling into the pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set. (In my case, the filling took closer to 1 hour and 15 minutes to set. I just watched it every 10 minutes or so after 45 minutes had passed.)
recipe from here