kids encyclopedia robot

Chess pie facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Chess pie
Buttermilk Chess Pie, August 2009.jpg
A vanilla buttermilk chess pie
Type Pie
Place of origin England
Main ingredients Pie crust, eggs, butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, corn meal
Variations Lemon chess pie, vinegar pie

Chess pie is a dessert characteristic of Southern United States cuisine, particularly in Virginia.


Little is definitively known about chess pie's origins, but its similarities to English lemon curd pie have inspired popular theories that the dish descends from early English settlers in the Virginia colony. A recipe similar to chess pie appears in Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, from the mid-18th century.

Chess pie is most commonly associated as a dessert of the American South. Common types of chess pie are buttermilk, chocolate, lemon, and nut.


The origin of the name chess pie is unknown, but many theories have been proposed. It could be a derivation of "cheese pie", the combination of eggs, butter, and sugar making a custardlike filling that is similar in texture to British cheesecakes and lemon curd; it could be named after the town of Chester, England; it could be from a piece of furniture used prior to home refrigeration called a "pie chest", in which pies were stored; or it could be an eggcorn of "It's just pie," due to a misinterpretation of the pronunciation "It's jes' pie" in Southern American English.


The basic chess pie recipe calls for the preparation of a single crust and a filling composed of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Some variations call for the addition of cornmeal as a thickener. Many recipes call for an acid such as vinegar, buttermilk, or lemon juice.

In addition to standard chess pie, other flavor variations include lemon, coconut, and chocolate chess pie. Nut pies, including pecan, fall under the category of chess pies.

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Distinguished Hispanic diplomats
Bill Richardson
Horacio Rivero Jr
Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón
Edward C. Prado
kids search engine
Chess pie Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.