Holiday Chess Pie
- 1⁄2 recipe for pie crust (see below)
- 1 stick (1⁄2 cup) butter
- 2 extra-large eggs plus 6 egg yolks
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 11⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 11⁄2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of ground star anise
- 21⁄4 cups all purpose flour
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Big pinch of sugar
- 1 to 11⁄2 sticks (1/2 to 3⁄4 cup) cold butter, cubed (1 stick will make prettier pie crust, 11⁄2 will make more delicious pies)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (nothing distinct like balsamic, but rice wine or distilled white are totally cool) or lemon juice
Instructions for Pie
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface into a 14 inch round that’s 1⁄4 inch thick. Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and lay it gently in a 9-inch pie pan, making sure that the pan is completely lined with the dough.
3) Trim and crimp the edge.
4) Lay a circle of parchment paper and some pie weights or dry beans on the bottom of the crust. Blind bake the crust for 5 minutes, remove the weights, and bake for 4 more minutes, until the crust is a matte blond color. Set aside.
5) To brown the butter, slowly simmer it in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the solids have separated and lightly browned, taking care not to burn it. Remove it from the heat but make sure it stays melted.
6) In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and salt, then whisk in (one at a time) the sugars, vanilla, cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, browned butter, veingar, nutmeg, cloves, ground star anise, and vinegar.
7) Pour the mixture into the crust and cover the edges of the crust with foil.
8) Bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the pie looks mostly set, just slightly jiggly in the very center.
9) Let it cool completely, then chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Let the pie return to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Instructions for Pie Crust
1) In a big bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar and make a claw with your hand to mix it up real good. Toss I the cold butter cubes and massage them into the flour mixture so you get nice big chunks.
2) Combine the vinegar with 1⁄2 cup cold water (this is called acidulating, which just means adding acid to something...usually water). Stir the acidulated water into the flour mixture and gently work the dough until a ball is formed.
3) Wrap the dough in plastic, squeeze out the air and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This also freezes awesome for up to a year.
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