Today is Pie Day because I'll be baking pies. I've never been very good at that, or at least I have not tried very often, but today I am determined.
We'll be hosting a large dinner party tomorrow evening in honor of some out-of-town guests, and I have decided to create the kind of southern meal I loved as a kid—pulled-pork barbecue sandwiches, coleslaw, baked beans, and pie. The pork will roast all day tomorrow, and the slaw and beans will be relatively easy, but I need to make the pies today.
I'll be making sweet potato pie, sorghum pecan pie, and chess pie. As much as I loved all of these growing up, the chess pie is my favorite. This pie evolved during the 1700s with a variation being found in Martha Washington's personal cookbook. To some people, it may seem too simple—my brother-in-law used to call it Crust Pie because it looked as if it had no filling. But to me, it's golden. Here is the version I'll be baking today.
2 cups sugar
2 T. cornmeal
1 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 T. white vinegar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Prebaked pie crust of your choice
Preheat oven to 350˚. Stir together all ingredients except the eggs until blended. Add eggs, stirring well. Pour filling into cooled pie crust.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with foil after 10 minutes to prevent over browning. Cool completely before serving. Serves 8.