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    Homemade Buttermilk Chess Pie Recipe

    Published May 25, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This Homemade Buttermilk Chess Pie Recipe is made with a simple crust and filled up with homemade buttermilk, sugar, and cornmeal for an unbelievable dessert.

    chess pie recipe on a plate with fresh berries

    Buttermilk Cheese Pie is a super tasty and easy dessert recipe to make.  I’ve actually only ever had it when I’m visiting friends down South, so I figured it was finally time to make one.  I’m going to show all my friends up here in Chicago how we get down in the south!

    Whether it’s for entertaining or just making a nice sweet treat for the fam, this is a winner.   Of course, if you love pie in general then you have to check out my French Silk Pie as well as my Blueberry Pie!

    The History

    The recipe dates all the way back to the 1700’s making it a pretty old American dessert. While there are a few different variations of how the recipe got its name I’m fond of the story that says someone was asked what they were eating and they responded, “just pie,” which can kind of sound like “chess pie.”

    a slice of pie with coffee and whole pie

    What Is It

    This is a simple baked pie consisting of a homemade pie crust and an egg, sugar and buttermilk filling.

    Now because I like to go the distance in recipes, I just so happened to make my pie crust with some extra rendered bacon fat I had lying around.  Let me tell you something, if you’ve never made a homemade pie crust with bacon fat then you haven’t lived my friends.  It is the only way to make a pie crust.

    The filling for it is pretty simple.  You whisk together the eggs first and then add in everything else.  The only other variations I’ve seen in a chess pie is making it chocolate or lemon-flavored.

    While there is no buttermilk in this recipe, I made some that are homemade.  Buttermilk is simply vinegar and whole milk.  You can use lemon juice as well in this chess pie recipe if you’d like!

    How to Make It

    If there is one thing that I am obsessed with in my kitchen, it’s my Franke Chef Center.  I mean the sink is an absolutely show stopper.  It’s beautiful and incredibly functional with its compostable bins and an assortment of awesome accessories.  The main detail here is that I can prep and clean up this buttermilk chess pie all in one place and it’s a beautiful thing!

    Once you make your homemade pie crust you do want to par-bake it a little bit just to make sure your pie crust doesn’t fall.  I do this by placing a sheet of parchment or foil over the top of the raw pie crust and filling it with dried beans.  Bake it up for a few minutes, and remove the parchment and beans and boom you are good to go.

    The filling is as simple as whisking everything together and pouring it right into the par-baked pie crust pan and then bake this beauty away.  After about 30 minutes or so I like to place a piece of foil over top to ensure the top of the pie crust doesn’t overcook and burn.

    If you’ve eaten this before you’ll notice mine is a bit bigger than the norm.  Yeah, I want a big old pie because it’s just better.  I didn’t make this buttermilk chess pie to be as flat as a brownie or a bar, I wanted a full-on pie so that’s why it’s so big!

    Finally, let it cool on a rack until room temp.  Yeah, this part is hard.

    slice of chess pie with berries next to whole pie

    How to Serve

    A classic buttermilk chess pie is served up with a dash of powdered sugar and that’s it.

    Now you can absolutely do just that, but I think some fresh berries would be a really nice touch to add to this chess pie.

    Oh, and please eat this for breakfast with some coffee because it is so good.

    More Dessert Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    This Homemade Buttermilk Chess Pie Recipe

    5 from 7 votes
    This Homemade Buttermilk Chess Pie Recipe is made with a simple crust and filled up with homemade buttermilk, sugar, and cornmeal for an unbelievable dessert.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 2 hours
    Cooling Time: 1 hour


    For the Pie Crust:

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ stick cold unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup leftover cold rendered bacon fat
    • pinch of sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ice cold water

    For the Filling:

    • 8 eggs
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 1/3 cup cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • pinch sea salt
    • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
    • ½ cup whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • powdered sugar and fresh berries for garnish


    • Preheat the oven to 400°.
    • Pie Crust: add the flour, butter, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse on high speed while drizzling in the water until it becomes like a meal. Note: you may need a bit more water.
    • Transfer the dough to a clean surface dusted with flour and roll the dough out with a pin until it is 1/8 thick.
    • Form the dough to a deep 9” pie pan cutting off any excess and crimping the edges to make a ripple around the outside.
    • Add a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pie crust followed up with 1 pound of dried beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Turn the oven down to 350°.
    • Filling: Add the eggs to a large bowl and lightly whisk. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk until combined.
    • Pour the batter into a deep 9” pie pan and bake for 100 to 120 minutes or until firm in the center. After 30-35 minutes, cover the outside crust with foil so that it does not burn up.
    • Cool completely on a rack and serve with powdered sugar and fresh berries.


    Calories: 761kcalCarbohydrates: 102gProtein: 10gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 284mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 1gSugar: 78gVitamin A: 970IUCalcium: 52mgIron: 2.2mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American