Festive Cranberry Chess Pie

While the English and the South may fight over who invented Chess Pie, this recipe is a new take on the traditional lemon curd pie. In traditional Chess Pies, buttermilk is the main ingredient, but this recipe is adjusted, and festive cranberries are added for a celebratory and indulgent holiday treat.

Serving size

⅛ wedge


8 servings

Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 1hr 30min
Total: 1hr 45min


1, 9-inch pie crust, pre-baked, (homemade or store-bought)

12 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen (used fresh for nutrient analysis)

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoon fine-ground cornmeal

1 tablespoon unbleached flour

4 large eggs, room temperature

½ cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Powdered sugar (Optional, not included in nutritional analysis)

Special Equipment:

9 or 10-inch pie pan


Zester or grater

Nutrition Info

Makes: 8 servings  Serving size: ⅛ wedge




21 g

Saturated Fat

12 g

Trans Fat

<1 g


144 mg


47 g


28 g


2 g


6 g


186 mg


34 mg


89 mg


124 mg


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place prebaked pie crust on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat cranberries in a dry medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Shake pan occasionally to distribute heat, until some of the cranberries just begin to split and burst, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Drain excess liquid.
  5. Transfer cranberries into a large bowl and cool.
  6. Combine sugar and salt into a separate large bowl. Add lemon zest and work into the sugar salt mixture.
  7. Whisk in cornmeal and flour, mix thoroughly.
  8. Add eggs and whisk until well combined.
  9. Add cream, melted butter, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  10. Whisk vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until well combined and no lumps remain.
  11. Fold cranberries into mixture with a spatula. Smooth any lumps.
  12. Mix just until cranberries are evenly distributed throughout custard.
  13. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Spread to distribute cranberries evenly.
  14. Bake pie until slightly golden brown and set, for about 45 to 60 minutes.
  15. Remove pie from the oven and cool.
  16. Chill pie in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
  17. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.
Recipe Contributed by FamilyCook Productions

Depending on the texture of how you like your pie, you can cook down the cranberries to your desired size.