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+ servings
slice of lemon chess pie by My Kitchen Serenity

Lemon Chess Pie

Lemon Chess Pie is an easy, tart ooey gooey pie that bakes up with a sweet crispy candy-like top crust.  Chess pie is an old fashioned southern favorite that everybody loves.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 350kcal
Author Anne Clark


  • large mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • measuring cup(s)
  • measuring spoons
  • wire rack


  • 1 ready-made deep dish pie crust
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup lemon juice it takes about 4-5 large lemons to make ½ cup juice. Alternatively, you can use bottled lemon juice.
  • zest of one lemon


  • Bake ready made pie crust according to package directions. This is known as blind baking or par baking.
  • Heat oven to 375F.  Combine sugar, cornmeal, flour, and eggs in large bowl using a whisk.  Stir in melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared pie crust and bake for 35 minutes or until filling is mostly set but no more than 40 minutes. Check on the pie after about 25 minutes to see if the crust is starting to brown too quickly -- see recipe note below if this happens.
  • Cool on a wire rack.  Transfer to refrigerator to chill.  When chilled, sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream.  TIP:  Can be served at room temperature but I think it's better served cold.


  • Place the pie on a cookie sheet, then place it into the oven to bake it.  The cookie sheet makes it easier to handle in and out of the oven.
  • It's OK if the pie filling doesn't appear to be fully set when you remove it from the oven. As the pie cools, it will thicken. Once completely cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or top with whipped cream. 
  • If the crust starts to brown too quickly while baking, take a strip of foil and cover just the edges of the pie crust.  Continue to bake as directed.
  • If you're one of those bakers that makes your own pie crust, good for you! I recommend that you always double up on your favorite recipe and freeze your own pie crusts for easy use in the future. This comes in handy when you have an unexpected guest coming over and want a last-minute dessert or a crust to whip up an easy chicken pot pie.
  • Buy a ready-made pie crust and pre-bake (blind bake) according to package directions. Alternatively, you could press the thawed, ready-made pie crust into a tart pan for that fancy crinkled pie look; then bake as directed. 
  • Chess pie is at its best flavor and texture when fully chilled, but some people eat it while it's still warm or room temperature. Either way, it's oh so delicious.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg