[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Lewis Chessmen Pie
26 April 2012
[Slice of Pie]

Chess pie is another one of those recipes that seem to have been around for a long time, and, as a result, no one can quite agree on what goes into it, where the name comes from or what it means, or where the recipe originated. Most recipes call for egg yolks, sugar and at least a pinch of cornmeal. Then the variation comes in. Most call for acid, but whether that's white vinegar or lemon juice is up in the air. Some call for dairy, but disagree on what kind and how much.

That, of course, provides great leeway and room for inspiration and improvisation. I opted for lemon juice, since I like lemons, more cornmeal than many recipes, and, in my broadest departure from canon, egg whites rather than egg yolks or whole eggs. I confess that part of the motivation for the egg whites was that I had extra whites I had laid in for a friend who was allergic to yolks.

With all those changes, calling it Chess Pie seemed disingenuous. So, being a medievalist, I thought of the Lewis Chessmen, which, coincidentally, just finished a run in New York City at the time of this writing. Thus, Lewis Chessmen Pie. Which is not entirely unlike a more standard Lemon Chess Pie.

Lewis Chessmen Pie

If your brown sugar is dry and rock hard, as mine usually is, I find that letting it soak for a while in the cream or the lemon juice (but not both!) will soften it up. You want it soft and mushy, or it will be lumpy in your pie, which is ... undesirable. If your brown sugar is dry and rock hard, as mine usually is, you can also more or less guess at the measurement. It's not too critical.

Melt but do not cook the butter. A microwave is good, but only in short bursts. Separate out your egg whites and save the yolks for something else, like a tiramisu or hollandaise. Unless you cheated and bought just egg whites.

[The Pie] Mix everything together thoroughly. If you can see any lumps, you did it wrong - which is why your sugar needs to be soft and your butter melted. To be honest, it will still work and taste fine, but it won't look quite as pretty.

Pour into your pie shell and bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for one hour. Simple.

Be warned, this is a pretty sweet pie. The lemon, however, while certainly up-front, is not overpowering by any stretch. Nothing more to be said. Enjoy.


© 2012 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite