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White Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie

November 3, 2015

White Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie

Up until a few weeks ago, I don’t think I actually knew what Chess Pie was. I had heard of it, but didn’t think anything of it because the name doesn’t really say all that much about what it is. It’s not a pie that has squares of color like a chessboard. It’s nothing like checkered cookies (thank God). There’s no intriguing description like Sugar Pie or Buttermilk Pie or Apple or whatever. It’s just Chess. Which is a game. A game I don’t understand. A game I don’t care to understand. All I know is that you want the Queen. You yell “Checkmate!” and if you’re in a competition, you wack a timer that’s next to the table. And people feel smart when they talk about chess.

Recently I came into a number of hand-me-down cookbooks, the bulk of which were masses of recipes from local organizations spiral bound together with the names and towns of each home chef who created that recipe. The kind of cookbook you can flip to and see 4 pages with slight varying ingredients and techniques of the same recipe. Home spun stuff. Handed down. I love cookbooks like that.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie

Someone brought up the idea of doing a Chess Pie at work and as I scoured the internet and pawed through dozens of cookbooks from my collection, I learned quite a bit about chess pie…but still not all that much to be considered an expert on it. Maybe one day. #goals

But since it’s Fall, just any regular ol’ Chess Pie wouldn’t do. A Pumpkin Chess Pie would be much more suitable. And of course, if you can think of it, it probably already exists out on the internet. And it did. When you read recipe after recipe, the one thing you realize that they all have in common is cornmeal. Chess pie is essentially a baked custard. When you add pumpkin to it, which itself is already a custard pie, you pretty much have a pumpkin pie…with some cornmeal. That cornmeal changes the consistency of a pie. There’s more texture, more bite. And it’s delicious.

The best part about this pie is that it is ridiculously easy to make. But then again, most pies are easy to make. The hardest part is the crust. The crust cracks when rolling it out. The crust is ugly. The crust is soggy. When it comes to pies, I’ve learned that par baking is crap. You still end up with a crust that is wet on the bottom. The flakier the dough is, the more wet it will be too. I feel it’s best to just bake the crust completely, then fill it and bake it. This guarantees a crisp crust throughout. I haven’t run into the issue of burned edges, but if you find it browning too fast, all you have to do is cover it with foil (or dole out some cash for a crust protector that does just that). I also like to add flavor to the crust. Any leftover dough can be baked off and eaten. So when I was looking for what to add to the crust, I remember we had been gifted a nice dark rum that had a very strong molasses scent and flavor. A perfect addition to the crust.

Rum (and KLG & Hoda)

White Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie
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Pumpkin Chess Pie is pretty much like Pumpkin Pie, but there's a bit more of a texture to it. Add in some white chocolate to enhance (not overpower) the richness of it all.
Servings Prep Time
1 pie 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 pie 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 1.5 hours
White Chocolate Pumpkin Chess Pie
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Pumpkin Chess Pie is pretty much like Pumpkin Pie, but there's a bit more of a texture to it. Add in some white chocolate to enhance (not overpower) the richness of it all.
Servings Prep Time
1 pie 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 pie 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 1.5 hours
Ingredients
Pie Crust
Pie Filling
Servings: pie
Units:
Instructions
Pie Crust
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Add in the cubed butter and shortening and cut in with your fingers until very coarse and crumbly. There shouldn't be a lot of dry flour left. Add in the rum, water and vanilla extract and mix together until it becomes a cohesive mass. Form into a round disc about 1/2-inch thick, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on a silpat or parchment paper. Place another parchment layer on top and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness, rotating the dough (or paper its on) after every roll to make it into a circle.
  3. Peel off the top parchment and flip over a pie plate/tin. Peel back the silpat/parchment and carefully press into the plate, being sure to get into the corners. Trim any excess dough off so that you have a 1-inch overhang of dough. Fold under it self to line up with pan. Flute with fingers or fold in some fancy way or just press with a fork. Or do nothing. Keep it rustic. Really, it's up to you.
  4. Place the shaped pie shell into the freezer for at least 1/2 an hour (overnight works great, too). Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  5. Line the frozen pie shell with a square of tin foil and then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until firm. After that time is up, lift up the foil and beans and set aside. Use a fork to poke all over the bottom of the pie and continue to bake in oven for another 10 minutes until the crust is nicely browned.
  6. Let cool slightly.
Pie Filling
  1. Combine the softened butter, sugars and cornmeal together. If you're using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. These don't need to be creamed, just combined to break up the butter and any clumps of sugar.
  2. After about a minute, begin adding in the rest of the ingredients. With the mixer on low, add in the pumpkin, then the eggs (letting each mix in fully before adding the next), then the half and half. Mix in everything else (except for the white chocolate). Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to make sure everything is combined.
  3. Finely chop the white chocolate. Put half into the filling mix and fold together with a spatula. Put the rest of the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl (like glass).
Finishing & Baking the Pie
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Take a small pot and fill it with about an inch of water. Turn the heat on and place the bowl of white chocolate on top. Just make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  3. When the water comes to a boil (steam starts to escape from the edges of the pot), turn off the heat and let the chocolate melt. Stir to smooth it all out.
  4. Pour the pie filling into the cooled shell. It will level out on it's own, but you can always shake it side to side to help it out. Take a spoon a tiny piping bag and drizzle the melted white chocolate on top. Create a pattern or design or just swirl it about and then take a toothpick and swirl it about some more for a marbleized effect.
  5. Slide the pie into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time. The pie is done when the edges are set but the center is still jiggly. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for a couple hours before chilling in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Eat!
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