Cornmeal and buttermilk combine to create a tender, slightly sweet crust for this classic Southern pie.
Lemon Chess Pie with Cornmeal-Buttermilk Crust
Makes 1 (9-Inch) Pie
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 to 5 tablespoons whole buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plain yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup whole buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- For dough: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until a dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Let dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Top with a sheet of parchment paper, letting ends extend over edges of plate. Add pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
- For filling: In a large bowl, beat eggs, granulated sugar, butter, flour, and cornmeal with a mixer at medium speed until almost smooth. Stir in buttermilk, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and salt. Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes, covering with foil during last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.