An old-fashioned, Southern-style Chess Pie typically has two distinctive ingredients, cornmeal, and vinegar.
- single-crust pie pastry
- 2 cup (½‑inch thick) slices rhubarb
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar (divided)
- 2 teaspoon unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 3–4 pinch kosher salt (divided)
- 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch circle, a generous ⅛‑inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9‑inch pie plate and gently press it up the sides. Drape any excess crust over the edge, then fold under and crimp decoratively. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of the dough. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment or foil, then continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and pale colored. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, toss together sliced rhubarb, ¼ cup granulated sugar, butter, and a big pinch of salt on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Scrape the rhubarb, and any juices, evenly across the bottom of the prepared pie pastry. Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, remaining sugar, cream, melted butter, vinegar, cornstarch, cornmeal, vanilla and 2 or 3 big pinches of salt. Once well-combined pour the mixture over the rhubarb in the pie pastry. Place the pie, on the rimmed baking sheet, in the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes., or until the center of the pie is just set. If the crust get too brown lightly tent it with foil for the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire rack 2 hours. Cover and chill the pie at least 3 hours. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature 15 or 20 minutes before slicing.