Monday, December 10, 2012

Chess Pies

My mother in law made these tasty little morsels and they were always a hit.  I remember that every year, at Christmas time, she would bring a box of her home baked cookies to our house.  Our three sons were always excited to see that the Chess Pies were included.  Over the years it became more and more difficult for Grandma Cleo to do all that baking.  Finally, she told me that it was just too much and she hoped no one would mind if she just didn't do it any more.  Of course I told her that it would be ok, but we would always cherish the memory of all her hard work.  I said I would carry on, as best I could, but we would always miss her cookies.  Well, Grandma Cleo, where are you!  How did you do it all?  I made Chess Pies and realized how time consuming they are.  I am writing out this recipe for those in the family that would like to remember Grandma Cleo's Chess Pies and maybe appreciate all that hard work she did.  The original recipe that she gave me had maybe 3 lines of instructions.  I could have filled pages trying to make it clear what you really have to do.  I sure miss you Grandma Cleo.


Make your favorite crust for 9” 2 crust pie.  For convenience, I use the pre made, rolled out and boxed one from the supermarket.  Using your rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/8 to 1/4" thick.  With a 2 3/4” cookie cutter, cut dough into 20 - 24 small tart shells. I use a mini cupcake pan, turned upside down with the dough rounds pressed down and molded over the bottoms.  Prick the bottoms of the tarts with a fork to help keep the shape.   Bake shells at 375˚ for 8 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Cool shells completely before filling.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon cream or canned evaporated milk
2 tablespoon water
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In the top of a double boiler ( or you can put a smaller pot into a larger one with water in the bottom pot - you just want to be sure the water in the bottom pot does not bubble into your tart mixture), melt the butter and sugar. Combine the beaten eggs with the cream and water and whisk them well. Slowly add about 1/4 cup of the melted butter mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly, you don’t want to cook the egg.  Now add the egg mixture into the top of the double boiler, along with the raisins.  You need to stir this mixture constantly as you cook it - until it thickens.  This may take 30 minutes or so - don’t give up, it takes time.  Once your mixture is nice and thick, add the walnuts and vanilla.  Mix well!   Fill your baked tart shells, dividing the filling among the tarts.  

These will freeze well but they won’t last long - they are usually eaten!


JKL said...

Thank you Honey for remembering my mom & making these cookies which are every bit as good as hers. With each bite, you bring back memories of growing up with her desserts.

Pat Lutzow said...

You're welcome......

Dennis Badger said...

Wow, thanks for sharing these looking really good. I know they must be if you made them. It amazes me how you keep all those little tarts in a line and never have one break. I would have them in pieces trying to fill them. Thanks again for your time and hard work we are enjoying “Thyme In Grammy’s Kitchen”. Love Dennis & Joy

Millie Nibe said...

Oooh, they look delicious. So quick to fix . . . perfect for during the holidays. The tip about buying store bought pie crust is a big timesaver. I used to make a full sized Chess Pie, haven't done that in years. Good Memories. Love all your recipes, Pat, what a great idea. Your blog is a huge success. Thank You! :) ♥

Anonymous said...

Pat: I love your stories and this recipe looks amazing. Thank you for sharing. Connie P

Pat Lutzow said...

Thank you Dennis, Joy, Millie and Connie. Your kind words mean a lot to me.