Recipes for old-fashioned chess pie are found at sites such as About.com and Myrecipes.com. Other highly-rated versions of chess pie are featured at ABC.go.com and FoodNetwork.com. Classic chess pie includes basic ingredients such as butter, brown sugar, white sugar, white vinegar and cornmeal.
Chess pie requires an unbaked pie shell, which can be made from scratch ahead of time; cooks can use a pre-made pie crust if preferred. If making the crust from scratch, use a recipe for a 9-inch pie. To make a classic chess pie filling, combine both types of sugars in a bowl with 3 lightly beaten eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake for one hour.
Some recipes alter ingredient amounts, and may leave out brown sugar entirely. Carla Hall's recipe for chess pie includes 1/2 cup buttermilk, which adds richness to the filling, as well as lemon zest and lemon juice, which add a bit of citrus flavoring.
Lemon chess pie is an alternative to the old-fashioned recipe: this version uses 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, including the pulp. In addition, 2 tablespoons of grated lemon rind are stirred into the pie mixture. After baking the pie for 45 minutes, allow it to cool for three hours before serving with fresh dollops of whipped cream.