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Eula’s Chess Pie Recipe From ‘Whistling Past The Graveyard’

April 9, 2014 6:00 AM

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Susan Crandall is an award-winning women’s fiction, suspense, romance and mystery author. Her first book, Back Roads, won the RITA award for best first book, as well as two National Reader’s Choice awards in 2003. She has released eight more critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels since. Susan lives in Indiana.
eula s chess pie whole Eulas Chess Pie Recipe From Whistling Past The Graveyard

Photo Credit: Susan Crandall

Eula’s Famous Chess Pie, very southern, very sweet.

Eula’s hints for a chess pie:

Always use ice water to mix the crust.   Lard is much better than fancy new canned shortenings.  Make sure your shortening is chilled.

Once the pastry is in the pan, brush it with egg white and then prick the bottom in several places.  Bake in a hot oven (425 degrees) for 4-5 minutes.  This helps keep the crust from getting soggy when baking the full pie.

Add a tablespoon of lemon zest and a few drops of lemon juice in the mixing to cut the sweetness.

Get your copy of Whistling Past The Graveyard here.

Related:Top Chef Carla Hall’s Famous Chicken Pot Pie

Eula’s Famous Chess Pie

Crust:

2 cups flour
8 tablespoons butter, or 2/3 cup shortening (lard or Crisco)
¼ teaspoon salt for butter, 1 teaspoon for shortening
4-7 tablespoons ice water

Cut shortening into flour and salt until shortening the size of small peas.  Sprinkle ice water in a little at a time, tossing and kneading until will hold together in a ball.  Roll out.  Place in 9 inch pie pan, crimp edges.  Now use Eula’s tip, egg white and prebake this crust for 4-5 minutes in hot (425 degree) oven. Cool.

Filling:

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons yellow corn meal
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, very soft but not melted
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

In bowl, whisk eggs (and lemon zest and juice if using).

Combine sugar and butter.  Add flour, salt, milk, vanilla and vinegar.  Stir until well blended.  Gently fold in corn meal.  Add eggs.

Pour into pastry shell.

Related:Roasted Lamb Recipe From “The Way We Ate”

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Eula says to shield edges of crust with aluminum foil after 10 minutes to prevent over browning.  Cool completely before serving.

Get your copy of Whistling Past The Graveyard here.

Susan Crandall is an award-winning women’s fiction, suspense, romance and mystery author. Her first book, Back Roads, won the RITA award for best first book, as well as two National Reader’s Choice awards in 2003. She has released eight more critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels since. Susan lives in Indiana.
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