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.