Lemon Chess Pie

Lemon Chess Pie

Just when the heft of the Thanksgiving spread causes you to give in to the sensation to unbutton your pants for a bit of relief, you waddle to the dessert table to see what could possibly “out-do” the main event. You and your tight pants are met with a bevy of sinfully rich, decadent desserts and one sunshine bright lemon pie. You’ve eaten too much food, and you know it.

“This is bad.” you think to yourself. “Really bad.” As in you know what kind of heartburn you’ll be having in a half an hour or how bad tomorrow morning’s workout will feel if you take this meal into extra innings. But then you reason… this IS a one-day-of-the-year opportunity. So you seize it. Your eyes dart back and forth, from deep orange pumpkin to double dark chocolate mousse pie. “Too much”, you think to yourself. You need something refreshing.

“What is that lemon pie over there?” you whisper out loud. Grandma puts her two thumbs up. Her hearing has gone bad in the last few years, but she heard every word of that question as you mumbled over the dessert table, half of which she created and brought to the family gathering.

You see it, and it looks like an old school take-you-back custard pie. It is smooth and rich, nearly reminiscent of lemon bars but more filling and flaky buttery pastry. So good. Grandma-made-it-this-way good.

You sashay your way back to your place setting, slice of lemon pie in hand. You shatter the pastry first, with the side of your fork. It flakes and gives away. Grandma knows, smooth, rich buttermilk makes the pie pastry even tenderer. Then you wonder, is “tenderer” even a word?

You glide your fork through the delicate puff of whipped cream and the smooth, bright filling, made with decadent heavy cream from AE Dairy, a stone’s throw from the very house you are enjoying your pie in. The first bite hits your eager lips and the brightness hits your tongue. Base hit. Home run. Grand Slam. Cubs Win.

You hurriedly finish your first slice, to grab another.

Amid the holiday chaos, I hope you find time to spend with those that matter the most to you.

Lemon Chess Pie

Author: Cristen


Classic Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie Crust

  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 TBSP AE Buttermilk
  • 1-2 TBSP ice water

Lemon Chess Pie Filling

  • zest of 1 lemon finely grated
  • 1 2/3 C of granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter melted
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2/3 C AE Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 C fresh lemon juice ~3 lemons
  • 3 TBSP fresh orange juice one small orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*This pie uses a par-baked (pre-baked) pie shell. 9" or 10" size may be used. (recipe for crust, above)


    Classic Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie Crust

    • Combine dry ingredients, cut butter into dry mixture until pea sized crumbs remain.
    • Add all wet ingredients. Stir lightly and form into a ball.
    • Place mixture on plastic wrap, cover, pat into a disk shape and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    • When ready, roll out into a 13 inch circle. Fit to 9" or 10" pie shell, fold excess underneath edges, crimp decoratively. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
    • Blind Baking: Dock the prepared crust gently with a fork 20 times on the bottom and sides of pastry to prevent puffing. Blind bake the shell with a foil collar around crust and parchment and pie weights/dry beans to weigh the crust down. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, when crust is set remove pie weights/beans and parchment. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool while you assemble filling.

    Pie Filling

    • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
    • Place the prebaked pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
    • In large bowl, rub zest of lemon and sugar together for 30 seconds, stir in the cornmeal, flour, and salt.
    • Add in the melted butter, then the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
    • Mix briskly until the filling is thick and light colored. Stir in the AE heavy whipping cream, followed by the lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
    • Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell, or strain it into a separate bowl and then pour it into the shell. (This makes an abundant amount of filling for a standard pie plate, but leftovers may be poured into a ramekin and baked.)
    • Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes.
    • Pie is set when lightly golden, edges are slightly puffed and center is no longer liquid but wobbles a bit.
    • Be careful not to over bake; the filling will continue to cook and set as it cools. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours.
    • Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream** If desired. Serve at room temperature.
    • **Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream Garnish:
    • In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups AE Heavy Whipping Cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whip until soft peaks form, keep well chilled until serving.


    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AE Dairy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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