I'm calling this Grandmother Chess Pie because both my grandmothers have made chest pie at some point. Not too long ago they each made a variety of it within several weeks of each other, one was lemon, the other vanilla (much like this one). Then my mother started making a chocolate chest pie which everyone went crazy over too. It was then that I really started appreciating chest pie. My favorite part is that it has this really thin crust but is gooey on the inside. Sooo good. It's so old fashioned, but in an insanely good way. It's almost like you went back 100 years and are eating pie with your great-great grandmother and that's a good thing.
This recipe came from my Sweet Carolina cookbook that I've neglected lately. This was the recipe I've wanted to try the most since it is from Rowan County and has the best story to go along with it. It's contributor was 104 when this cookbook was written. She was born in rural Rowan county (not sure which part) in 1899! One day in the 1920's she picked up the telephone to get the operator in Salisbury and instead overhead a neighbor's phone call. Oh, how fun party lines must have been! So it just so happens that when she picked up she heard someone asking for directions to bake a chest pie. So like any good southern woman, she eavesdropped to get the recipe as well. The cutest part, she calls the pies "crusties"!
*I'd suggest adding the pecans. I took the pies to my grandmother's today so I could have a pre-birthday celebration with her since I'll be in Las Vegas on Saturday. She, my cousin Allison and I could have taken out this entire pie!
Nolie Ridenhour Zimmerman, from Sweet Carolina
Makes 2 pies, 6 to 8 servings each
2 unbaked 9-inch piecrusts
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cream or milk
1 teaspooon vanilla
pecans (optional)-I made one of each
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients and blend well. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared piecrusts. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until done.