Kentucky Lemon Chess Pie

My husband’s family was from Whitley City, McCreary County, Kentucky – near Cumberland Falls.  His mother, Nettie, and her sister, Anne, lived to be in their late 90s – funny, active, energetic.  Aunt Anne belonged to the McCreary County Senior Citizens and in 1983, the group published a cookbook, “Home Cooking Secrets of McCreary County Senior Citizens”.

One of the first recipes I tried was Lemon Chess Pie submitted by Charita Farris.  I have a note beside the recipe, “Excellent- 11/83”.

Each year, I bake the pie at least once during the winter, following Charita’s recipe exactly.  This year, I suddenly realized spring is here and I haven’t made the pie yet.  So, we’re having it for dinner today.


  • Unbaked pastry for single crust 9″ pie (see my recipe here)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tblsp. yellow cornmeal
  • 4 eggs, unbeaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon peel, grated*
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a medium mixing bowl, place sugar, flour, and cornmeal.  Toss with a fork.  Add eggs and whisk together until smooth.  Add butter, milk, grated lemon peel and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Pour into the unbaked 9″ crust.

Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes until the top and crust are golden brown.

Place pie on a wire rack to cool.  It’s quite rich and delicious.

*Here’s a good way to always have lemon juice and lemon peel on hand for your favorite recipe.

Published by


Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

7 thoughts on “Kentucky Lemon Chess Pie”

  1. This looks fantastic! Some recipes say to use room temperature eggs…do you only use room temperature and if so, why do you think it makes a difference?

    Thanks for another great recipe for my cookbook!


    1. Actually, I only worry about room temperature eggs when making yeast bread – I wouldn’t want the cold eggs to affect the yeast’s rising. Also, I bring egg whites to room temperature when making meringue, but I personally haven’t been able to see a difference in other items.

      Thanks for your nice comments. Lillian

  2. Here is another winner from you. I will have to try this one too. I saw one in a Martha Stewart magazine and have kept it too.

  3. Hi Lillian! I have been following your posts for years…but just now signed up to be able to comment. I have been making Lemon Chess pie for a long time (maybe 15 years — I’m 41 years old). It’s one of my favorites. Well, any kind of chess pie is my favorite. 😉 I love your blog. It always makes me feel cozy and at home, like when I would be in my Grandma’s big farm house. Thank you! Speaking of lemon….my maternal grandmother also made a Lemon Pecan Pie — absolutely divine!

  4. Charita Farris was my Great Aunt. I couldn’t tell you how many times I got to sample this recipe.! She was a great cook and baker. Miss her food.
    Fredric Dillon

    1. Thank you for writing about your great-aunt. She must have been a wonderful cook. I think it’s about time I made another lemon chess pie for my family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s