Lemon Chess Pie


Years ago (to many to admit) I met an old Polish woman who was a boyfriends grandmother.  She told me about her grandmother who was from England and would make a pie called “Chess Pie”.  She told me it was named chess pie because it was a pie that was kept in a pie chest in a kitchen which was a cool dark area used to store food before refrigerators.  They looked something like this:


Not only did they store pies but breads, meats and other food items. I do not know if the history she gave me is correct as I’ve been told over the years this is a Southern pie.  I can tell you for certain….this is a fabulous pie!!

It was in Sonia’s little kitchen the first time I had a Lemon Chess Pie.  Lemon Chess pie is a very sweet pie.  The lemon filling is so full of flavor and almost a light pudding consistency.  This quickly became one of my favorite pies.  I, like Sonia, loved lemon meringue pie without the meringue.  I do not like meringue at all on anything.  The lemon chess pie was a great alternative to scraping the meringue off.


The ingredients are very simple as shown below. You can even use a store bought frozen pie crust as I did as I used all my homemade crusts from the freezer and didn’t have time to make one and freeze it.


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The longest process of making this pie is grating the 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest you use.  You will use the juice of 2 large lemons which give you enough zest also.

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The batter is running and very pretty in color

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This makes one 9 inch deep dish pie.  You need to cover the crust as you cook this for 45 minutes so the cornmeal rises to the top and browns along the edges giving this a rich flavor.  If you do not have one of these crust covers you are MISSING OUT!!  This is one handy gadget for baking pies!!


The pie will be very dark and seem a little runny in the center when you pull it out but it sets as it cools. You can see by the color the crust looks very well done but because it was covered it has a great flavor.

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This is a family favorite at our house.  Super easy to make and impressive in taste.  Give this a try at your next dinner party and see how quickly it becomes a favorite in your family!!

Lemon Chess Pie

2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon Flour

1 Tablespoon fine yellow cornmeal

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter melted

2 Tablespoons grated lemon rind

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice with any pulp that gets squeezed in

1 unbaked pie shell (9 inch deep dish works best)

Heavy cream optional for whipped cream on top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl mix the sugar, flour, and cornmeal thoroughly

Add the eggs and mix

Add the milk and mix again

Stir in the melted butter, lemon rind and lemon juice mixing well

Pour the filling into the pie crust and cover the edge of the crust carefully so as not to touch the filling

Bake for 45 minutes removing the crust cover to brown edges after 35 minutes

Cool and serve or refrigerate.  If refrigerating, let sit for a bit to room temperature before serving.  Optional to top with a dollop of whipped cream

Homemade Fondant and Pound Cake


My 12 year old (the tween) amazes me sometimes.  Yesterday was one of those days.  She was bored with the weather being bad and declared she wanted to make homemade fondant and make our pound cake to surprise her brother when he is home from his hockey tournament.  She made the cake above.  I was amazed how she took the initiative and made this very impressive cake with his jersey and number on it.  It took her literally about 4 hours.

I don’t like fondant and will never eat a cake that has it.  The store bought fondant is gritty and normally not very good tasting and we have had some from bakeries that are not that good either as it’s thick.

This homemade marshmallow fondant was really good and SIMPLE!!!  It’s smooth, and just enough sweetness when rolled out to add a nice flavor to the buttery pound cake we make.  She used white icing glue we had on hand to attach the pieces.  It takes a bit to try and the cake came out perfect.  It will be a nice surprise for her brother when he returns late tonight!

Here are some of the pictures of her work and our recipes for our family pound cake and the recipe she used for the fondant.

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Our family POUND CAKE recipe:

3/4 cup butter (a stick and a half)
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg yolks until combined thoroughly. Add Vanilla.  Mix flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl and add alternately with milk. Set aside.  Beat egg whites until just stiff and fold into batter.

Bake in well greased tube pan or cake pan (we used a 9×9 and 2 small loaf pans) for 30 minutes in 350 degree pre heated oven until just browned and toothpick test comes out clean


MARSHMALLOW FONDANT  (super easy to make!!)


  • 8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional
  • Yield: 1 1/2 lbs fondant


  1. Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
  2. Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth
  3. Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.
  4. Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet–this is normal. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.
  5. Continue to knead the fondant until it smoothes out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth–too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with. Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.
  6. If you want to add coloring or flavoring to your fondant, flatten it into a round disc. You might want to wear gloves to avoid getting food coloring on your hands during this step. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over on itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball.
  7. Begin to knead the ball of fondant just like you did before. As you work it, you will begin to see streaks of color coming through from the center. Continue to knead until the streaks are gone and the fondant is a uniform color. Your fondant is now ready to be used or stored as outlined above.


Glazed Lemon Cookies



Lemons make me happy!!  I can’t help it they are so yellow and sunny. I love to look at them, I love to smell them and I love to use them in recipes for food, desserts and drinks!!  I spend probably $6 a week buying lemons just so I know I have them even if I don’t have a recipe in mind.  This weekend I saw a recipe for Glazed Lemon Cookies and it gave me an excuse to restock my lemon supply which was only one short but who is counting!!

These cookies were very good. It was a recipe on facebook and I changed it a little to add a little more lemon zing.  Pretty simple to make and your house will smell awesome after grating the lemons!!  I was hoping to pack them away for dessert for the kids lunches but my 20 something year old nephews dropped by and needless to say I have enough for two lunches tomorrow.  Oh well..maybe I should buy more lemons just in case 🙂

Glazed Lemon Cookies (pictures at the end of this post)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5-6 tablespoons lemon zest (I love lemon but you can cut this back to 4 tablespoons or up to 6)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
5  teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; then set aside. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers, until fragrant.

Cream the butter and sugar/lemon mixture together until light and fluffy with a mixer. Add in egg and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Slowly add in flour mixture on low speed until blended.

Drop dough by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently flatten dough with the palm of your hand. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until cookies are just set and barely golden brown around the edges. Cool cookies on baking sheet for a minute and then transfer to cooking racks. Cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip each cookie top into the lemon glaze. Let cookies sit until icing has set. Then you can sprinkle with yellow sprinkles as my kids did if you like.  Enjoy!