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Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

When life gives you lemons don’t make lemonade! Be happy and  make an old fashioned lemon chess pie! Then just say, “Thanks life!”  

Don’t you LOVE the ice cold tart creamy taste of a delicious old fashioned lemon chess pie on a hot day? The best! So refreshing and delicious! Super yum!


Recently, my friend Olivia who is a true connoisseur and purveyor of all things southern belle-ish reminded me that it would be lovely to have an easy and delicious lemon chess pie recipe. She had a few other suggestions, but I’ll save those for a later post. 

This is a photo of a Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie with a slice cut out a fork a lemon and a kitchen towel

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

I told her I would get right on it. However, here it is WEEKS later and I only JUST NOW dug up the recipe that I have for lemon chess pie. I am still looking for my chocolate chess pie recipe – hang on Olivia – I know it is here somewhere. I just have to find it.

That’s probably telling more than you really want to know about how my recipe organization goes.

Isn’t that the super fun thing about a food blog though? People read it and have suggestions! Sometimes it spawns all kinds of fun conversations about things like…. PIE!

This is a photo of a whole Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie


This recipe comes from a stash of recipes that I found at an estate sale two summers ago. I KNOW I told you all about it on my post about Candy Bar No Bake Ice Cream Pie . If I  had more space at home I would have arrived back here with WAY more than I actually bought.

I updated the recipe with more lemon juice, lemon zest, slightly more evaporated milk and that yummy cornmeal that makes such a crusty and DELICIOUS upper crust.

In case you are wondering about the name “Chess Pie”, I covered that in a post HERE.

If you really love all the things Chess you might also like…

Chess Pie

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess pie

Vinegar Pie

Fudge Chocolate Pecan Pie

Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Old Fashion Pecan Pie

Old Fashion Chess Bars

Old Fashioned Chess Pie

If Old Fashioned Pies are your thing, You are at the RIGHT PLACE!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pie

Old Fashioned Peaches and Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie


This is an overhead shot of a whole Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie with two lemons in the photo

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie


This is another photo of the Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie with a slice out and it is turned so you can see the inside of the pie

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

Old fashioned delicious summery lemon chess pie (perfect even if it isn't summer!)
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon chess pie, lemon pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 220kcal


  • 1 store bought pie crust I use the ones in the refrigerated section that are near the canned biscuits usually - Pillsbury brand.
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Tbs cornmeal
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs - beaten well
  • ¼ Cup unsalted sweet cream butter - melted and cooled
  • ¼ Cup evaporated milk
  • The zest of one lemon
  • The juice of 3 lemons about ¼ cup juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and move one of the racks to the lowest setting.
  • Line a 9 inch shallow pie plate with the refrigerated pie crust and crimp the edges.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornmeal, flour and salt until well mixed.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs, whisk in the melted and cooled butter, evaporated milk.
  • Zest one lemon before cutting all three in half and squeezing the juice out into a separate bowl. Pour the juice through a fine sieve to remove any seeds and pulp.
  • Add the zest and the lemon juice to the egg mixture. Add all of the egg mixture including the lemon juice and zest into the medium sized bowl that contains the sugar mix. Mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake in the oven with the rack set at the lowest setting. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes. The pie is done when you jiggle the sides of the pie plate and the middle is only a little jiggly and the top is browned.


To make this as light and airy as possible, make sure to mix the ingredients well, especially the eggs. 
Never add eggs to a hot mixture, always temper the eggs first. 


Nutrition Facts
Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!
This is a photo of Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie with a slice out, you can see the slice in the photo as well as some lemons

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

Tips and Tricks for Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

  • The secret to that delicious crust is the cornmeal so, whatever you do, don’t leave it out!
  • You COULD use the store bought lemon juice – but my experience has been that it is overpowering and there isn’t really a way to back that down. The flavor from real lemons is much more delicate and delicious – so, if you really want to do this recipe right – then just go with the real lemons and not the bottled lemon juice. If you need to use the bottled juice, then it is ¼ cup of juice total.
  • I use store bought crusts because I find that the ones in the refrigerated section (the kind that come rolled up) are just as tasty as homemade. I wouldn’t tell you a tale here.
  • This recipe only calls for ¼ cup of evaporated milk. I don’t know what you are supposed to do with the rest of the can – perhaps you have a good recipe for that? Please let me know if you do!
  • If you can get your hands on some home grown fresh eggs – where the hens have been allowed to be out in the yard eating grass and bugs – that will make the BEST chess pie. Those eggs are so much more “eggy” tasting. So – put that on your list of things to track down – farm fresh eggs from real free roaming chickens.
  • One of my chickens has disappeared – so, if you see a checked hen out walking along and she seems lost – please point her back here.
This is another photo of the Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie with a slice out and it is turned so you can see the inside of the pie

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie


This week I listened to a TED talk by Anne Lamott – one of my favorite authors. In her talk, Anne speaks about God and Noah’s first conversation. She says, “God said,  ‘Noah, you better put your shoes on’ (for this job)”. (I’m taking some liberties with these quotes here).

That made me consider, “I wonder what God DID say to Noah first”. I was ASTONISHED to find something else while looking this up.

Do you know why God decided to bring a flood upon the earth? I’m sure, like me, you have always known it was because the people were “bad”. I always assumed that the folks were “bad” in a way similar to Sodom and Gomorrah (we all know the kind of stuff that went on there, right?).

But, if that is what you are thinking was happening in Noah’s day, then you would be wrong.

Nope, the Bible says TWICE very distinctly that the people were VIOLENT and God was pretty upset about this.

You might know that often bible translations run a little differently. So, I looked up what the other translations say – pretty uniformly they all say that the people were VIOLENT and the land was full of VIOLENCE and God didn’t like it.



I’m still a little speechless about this. God, who created  all is willing to wipe everyone and everything out because they were VIOLENT and filled with VIOLENCE. Makes you think, doesn’t it? There is a lot of violence in this world today.

I’m going to have to give more thought to this. It certainly gives me more pause as to what I think about war and the fighting that typically goes on in the world.

Oh, and by the way, what did God say to Noah first? He didn’t say, “Put your shoes on” – but he probably should have said, “do you have a pencil and paper ready”. God started off speaking to Noah giving the specifications for building the ark. Noah must have had a keen memory!

Here is the whole text if you want to see it yourself…

Genesis 6

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,  the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.  The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.  So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Jepheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.  So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.  This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.  

God tells about the flood

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.  You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.  You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Wednesday 5th of June 2019

I made this pie the other day and while I mostly love it, one part either didn't go right or if it did I'm not a fan. The cornmeal didn't float to the top and make a crust up there like the recipe mentioned, instead it sank to the bottom and made a second crust right up against the pie crust. The corn crust under is almost gummy, not crispy at all, and doesn't really have any flavor. The end result is a weird mouthfeel and chewiness that isn't entirely pleasant to me. Do you know if there's something I did wrong with the cornmeal that made it do this, or is this how it's supposed to go? Aside from that, this is a lovely pie and I'm hoping I can fix this issue I'm having with the recipe.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

Hi Sterling, Wow! That sounds terrible! I have no idea why your cornmeal didn't float! Was it cornmeal mix maybe? I have picked up the mix rather than plain cornmeal accidentally at the store before and they are definitely a different product. That's the only thing I can think of. You can certainly leave the cornmeal out next time. It won't make that huge of a difference in the end product.


Friday 2nd of February 2018

OK - I tried this recipe and even my husband who doesn't like lemon flavor liked it!


Sunday 8th of October 2017


Robbie here! New to your site and looking forward to going through all of the recipes.

Have a blessed day!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 8th of October 2017

Hi Robbie! Welcome! Glad to have you!


Wednesday 12th of July 2017

I love your site

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 13th of July 2017

Thank you Darby! I hope you will come back soon! :)

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Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.

Barbara Bomprezzi

Saturday 15th of July 2017

Thank you for this good recipe for a good Chess Pie. I love your Spirital writtings too. I will never forget how much it meant to me. I know you are a wonderful Cook,Wife Mother,and I bet a precious teacher in a good Bible class at your church. This all made me feel so good just reading what you have written. Thanks again and may God Bless you with many more good recipes for everyone..... A Happy Cook from this side of the net, Barbara Bomprezzi


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