Monday, 30 June 2014

Pieathalon: Chess Pie

This week, I’m participating in a pieathalon with other food bloggers. A pieathalon is an ancient tradition stemming from Roman times where they’d put Christians in the Coliseum and make them eat pie until they exploded.

In the modern day version, we were given a pie recipe by another blogger. Mine was Chess Pie from S.S. of Book of Cookerye. Now, I’ve had a lot of pie in my day, but I’d never heard of Chess Pie before. Why is it called that? Are you supposed to eat it while playing chess? If so, that wouldn’t work for me because I’m not one of those multitasking types. And chess always makes me think of that Bangkok song.

The recipe called for some weird ingredients, specifically corn meal, vinegar and that stuff called “oleo.” (I used butter.) Not to mention cracking three eggs took a lot of concentration. But all in all, Chess Pie was pretty tasty. It was like a custardy, butter tart. As far as the presentation, thank god for that aluminum pie plate because without it, you wouldn’t be able to tell where the pie ended and the countertop began.

Check out all the pie pandemonium by visiting these other participating bloggers. You’ll discover gems like Simone’s Pet Strawberry Pie (hope it doesn’t have hamster), Avocado Lime Pie and (gag) Curried Egg Pie.






Mid Century Menu – Avocado Lime Pie
The Retro WW Experiment – Nesselrode Pie
Retro Recipe Attempts – Curried Egg Pie
Silver Screen Suppers – Mile-High Lemon Chiffon Pie
A Book of Cookrye – Upside Down Chicken Pie
Directionally Challenged Cooking – Simone's Pet Strawberry Pie
Kelli's Kitchen – Butterscotch Pie
A Pinch of Vintage – Schoolteacher Pie
Grannie Pantries – Black Bottom Pie
Dinner is Served 1972 – Seafoam Cantaloupe Pie
Ginger Lemon Girl – Chocolate "Pie"

I’m off to It-lee today, so I won’t be posting next week. As the Italians say, "Arriva derchee!"

1 tbsp cornmeal
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 eggs, beaten
¼ lb. oleo, melted
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp vinegar
1 unbaked pie shell

Mix cornmeal, sugar and flour; add to eggs. Add oleo; cream thoroughly. Add vanilla and vinegar; pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Yield: 6 servings. (See note)

Note: Or two, really, really big servings.


Source: Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts

24 comments:

  1. I am baffled how cornmeal and vinegar helped make that delicious. Maybe they just helped with the countertop coloring!

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    1. Thank god it didn't call for vinegar and baking soda. Otherwise, this would've been called Volcano Pie.

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  2. It is odd how cornmeal and vinegar make a pie so delicious, but it does........these were substitutes for some ingredients during war times when they were scarce. Hey, and "oleo" IS butter! Pie looks great!

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    1. Thanks, Kelli. For the life of me, I can't figure out how some of these ingredients made it into recipes in the first place. Who stands at the kitchen counter and says, "I'm going to invent a sweet pie. Now where's the vinegar?"

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    2. Oleo is margarine, not butter.

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  3. Aha! Another reason for me to get me a copy of Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts! My Mile High Lemon Chiffon Pie recipe came from the same book. This pie doesn't sound particularly appealing but coming from you, bearing in mind some of the HORRORS you have made, "Chess Pie was pretty tasty" is pretty much a 5 star review!

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    1. I saw that you had the same book, too! Now we're both on a mission to get it. Sorry that your Mile High Pie didn't deliver in the height department. I suppose calling it "Inch Pie" just doesn't have the same sizzle.

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    2. This Chess Pie sounds great. I typically love anything Chess related. Also, the Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts book is fabulous. It's part of a 5 book collection, and I definitely recommend them all.

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  4. I'm really glad you liked it! I gotta say, I at first was like "Holy crap, it really does look just like when I make it!"

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    1. Thank you for the recipe. I can now say I've made and enjoyed Chess Pie. Although, truthfully, I'm still not exactly sure what it is.

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  5. Now I KNOW you've gone all foodie-hipster-Martha Stuartson on us, Brian!
    REAL BUTTER!?!
    The waste! The expense!
    Oleo/margarine is the caker baker's 'thrifty' fat of choice.
    We cakers are a miserly (but oh so practical) bunch, you know.
    Plus REAL cakers ADORE that artificial 'butter' flavor & the more hydrogenated fats the better!
    I think this It-lee thing has gone to your head, Mr Francis.
    Anyhoo...
    Buon Viaggio!

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    1. I don't think we can get oleo in Canada. Probably Health Canada has banned it. Although I have a feeling that Golden Crisco might be a close substitute. That was the first and only time I'm using real butter in anything. It's too expensive. I had to borrow the money from my mom.

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    2. Golden Crisco is shelf-stable hydrogenated vegetable shortening, which is different from margarine in many ways, primarily in its fat and moisture percentages. Oleo is margarine, which can be hydrogenated or non-hydrogenated, but given the fact that oleo is the old-timey name for margarine in many parts of the U.S., the oleo listed in old-timey recipes is almost invariably hydrogenated - which means it has a higher melting point than non-hydrog marges, which is good for achieving certain textures, but can leave a thick, greasy feeling in the mouth. Most margarines these days are non-hydrog or partially hydrog, due to the fact that hydrogenation creates saturated fat out of unsaturates, and the result are trans-fats, which are really terrible for your body in a way that naturally saturated fats like butter and coconut oil are not.

      My opinion is that butter is best for everything except basting a turkey. For some reason, my ex made the best turkey, and he always had the things swimming in margarine.

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    3. Thanks for the info. I try to avoid that "thick, greasy feeling" in my mouth at all times.

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  6. Oh wow, it's crazy that cornmeal and vinegar can make this pie taste so delicious!! Love this pie! :)

    check out my Caramel Pie!
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/ooey-gooey/

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    1. I'll happily check out your pie recipe. Just as soon as I get some new teeth. That's the problem with these sugar pies. Great for dentists, not so great for me.

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  7. I don't have the "Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts," but I do have the Casseroles version. It has some pretty scary recipes, like "Cottage Cheese and Oatmeal Loaf."

    I'm glad you think of that song when you think of chess too!

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    1. Poppy, don't click on that link. It'll take you to YouTube, play that Bangkok song and you'll have it running through your head the entire day. Trust me on this one.

      I made a Special K meatless pot roast once. We should do a collaboration of meatless loaves and see which one reigns supreme.

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  8. The countertop line made me snort.
    Enjoy your trip! Thanks for joining in the Pieathalon!!!!

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    1. Thank YOU for organizing it. You must be pied out. Kick up your feet and have a slice of cake.

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  9. This must have been a good recipe Brian because I'm wondering... where's the rest of the pie??? Have a wonderful trip, and as they say in Italian... "Bueno Voyagio". Ok, so I'm still working my way through the "Learn to speak Italian" CD. Have fun!

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    1. Hey, at least you have CDs. I'm stil trying to wean myself off eight-tracks.

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  10. Happy Travels! As always, it was a blast to Blog-Challenge it up with you. I cannot even imagine what will be next!?!

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    1. God only knows, Mimi. God only knows.

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