The Easiest Chess Pie EVER

The only thing I’ve been asked to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house is a chess pie.  


I have what must be the easiest recipe in the history of chess pie recipes, and I have no idea where it came from or how long I’ve had it.  This one is so simple, y’all, and it is soooooo yummy.  For me to say that about something that I cook is rare, because I generally think that I am a lousy cook except for a handful of things.  And this chess pie is one of those.

My Daddy, who didn’t have too much of a sweet tooth, LOVED these pies and asked for them on special occasions like Father’s Day and his birthday.  He said he’d rather have one of these than anything from a store.  I don’t think I’ve made one since his last birthday in February, and even though he didn’t have much of an appetite by then, he managed to eat a pretty good-sized slice.  

So, let’s make Papa’s Chess Pie, shall we?

With a nod to Noble Pig’s style, if she won’t mind, here’s a picture of what you will need.  (Check out Tater Tot’s reflection in the back-splash!)


In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add the salt and vanilla.  Set aside.  (What can I say?  I had time on my hands and I got picture-happy.)


Melt the margarine in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add the sugar and vinegar, and bring it to a boil.


Pour it into the egg mixture and whisk for a few seconds until well blended.  Pour into a pie shell.


Here’s what your finished product should look like.  I told you it was easy!


Since pie crusts come in packages of two, you may as well go ahead and make two.  I promise you that they won’t go to waste.  If you’re disciplined enough to just keep one around for your family, you can always take the other one to a friend or neighbor and be their favorite person for, like, FOREVER!


1 stick margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 TBSP vinegar

3 eggs, beaten

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 frozen pie crust

Melt margarine.  Add sugar and vinegar.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Add mixture to beaten eggs, salt, and vanilla.  Beat well.  Pour into unbaked pie crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.


I hope you and your families and friends have a very happy Thanksgiving.  If you are traveling, no matter the distance, be safe.  I hope the next few days are filled with laughter and kindness, thoughtfulness and peace.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melanie
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 16:52:16

    Ok, perhaps it’s a north/south thing or perhaps I just don’t get out enough or maybe I’m just a wee bit tired but this post confused me.

    1 – First I read the the title as “Cheese Pie” and thought you had typo and there was no cheese in your picture or in written part and then after a while I figured you must have meant to say Chess Pie and realized then I was really confused because I have never heard of Chess Pie.


    2. I had to finally Google Oleo ’cause…what the heck is that??? I kept goin’ back and lookin’ at your picture but nothin’ said ‘Oleo’. One of the definitions said it’s a term for oils so I went and looked again but even the butter said Country Crock – I mean, that, I recognize.

    Anyway, I think I understand now and I may even give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving.



  2. thefarmerfiles
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 17:42:35

    ok, Melanie and I must be related. What does a chess pie taste like? I have never heard of it OR oleo.


  3. Tater Mama
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 18:46:43

    Oops! Sorry, gals! Must be a southern thing! I’m at my Mama’s house, and I just asked her. She said, “Oh, yeah, honey. I think Yankees call it ‘margarine.”

    My bad. What do I know? I’ve only lived in the South, ya know…. I’ll try to do better the next time I post a recipe.

    I’ve made the pie with real butter, and it’s not as good

    Sorry for the confusion!

    Gobble, gobble!

    I’ll go back up there in the blog and fix the “oleo” part!


  4. tatersmama
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 22:00:40

    OMG.. Chess Pie ! I haven’t had Chess pie since my mama died, so I might try making one this weekend. :o)

    Just looking at the photos of AMERICAN products made my heart go all flippity floppy and I think I could eat a bowl of oleo and sugar right now.

    I may have been raised in California… but I was raised SOUTHERN and the oleo – or chess pie – didn’t throw me one little bit.
    Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart for sharing this recipe !!


  5. upsidebrown
    Nov 28, 2008 @ 09:55:41

    Good grief! Sister, you’ve got some time on your hands. I like the added touch of varying heights of the ingredients and the nice little handkerchiefs almost as much as i love seeing Tot in the background! Miss those sweet cheeks…and you! Remember when our RR secret pals would give us things from the MSU Bakery like…squares of chess pie??? Sprinkled with powdered sugar???? HMMMMMMM…..


  6. Shirley
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 13:21:51

    I LOVE chess pie from MSU when I was young. I was born and raised in Starkville. Sadly, the past 5 years the bakery does not make pies and cakes like they use to.

    BTW, the original MSU Chess Pie had 1 tbsp of cornmeal added to the recipe. I still make mine with the cornmeal in it. Also, MSU uses vanilla extract. Some Southerners use lemon extract instead.

    Thanks for posting your recipe.


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