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Chess Pie. Iva Fish. Recipe

Chess pie is a classic Southern dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins can be traced back to the early settlers of the South, who brought with them traditional English pie recipes. Over time, Chess pie developed its own unique style and flavor, becoming a beloved staple in Southern cuisine.

The name "Chess pie" is believed to have come from the phrase "jes' pie," meaning "just pie." This simple name reflects the straightforward nature of the recipe, which consists of a buttery crust filled with a sweet and creamy custard-like filling. While different variations of Chess pie can be found across the South, one popular version is the Iva Fish Chess Pie.

To make Iva Fish Chess Pie, you will need the following ingredients:

- Three-fourths cup of sugar
- Butter the size of an egg
- Yolks of three eggs
- One tablespoon of flour
- One pint of milk
- Nutmeg for flavoring
- Pie crust (store-bought or homemade)

Here is a step-by-step guide to making the Iva Fish Chess Pie:

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg yolks to the sugar and butter mixture and mix well.

4. Gradually add the flour, mixing after each addition.

5. Slowly pour in the milk and continue mixing until all the ingredients are well combined.

6. Flavor the custard-like filling with a sprinkle of nutmeg, adjusting the amount to your taste preferences.

7. Roll out your pie crust and place it in a pie dish. Crimp the edges of the crust for a decorative touch.

8. Pour the prepared filling into the pie crust, making sure it is evenly spread.

9. Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the filling is set and lightly browned.

10. While the pie is baking, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

11. Take the pie out of the oven and spread the beaten egg whites on top.

12. Sprinkle sugar over the egg whites.

13. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue topping is golden brown.

14. Once the pie is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.

The Iva Fish Chess Pie is best enjoyed chilled and is often served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with the sweet and buttery flavors, make it a delightful treat that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Now, let's explore some fun facts about Chess pie:

- Chess pie is often referred to as a "poor man's pie" because it is made with simple ingredients that were readily available to early settlers.
- The filling of a Chess pie is dense and sweet, with a texture similar to that of a custard or a pecan pie filling.
- The pie is typically flavored with vanilla or nutmeg, but variations can include ingredients like lemon juice or cornmeal for added texture.
- Chess pie is a versatile dessert that can be served warm or cold, making it suitable for any season.
- This pie is a staple at many Southern holiday gatherings, birthdays, and other special occasions.

If you enjoy Chess pie, you might also like similar pie dishes such as:

- Buttermilk pie: Made with a combination of buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and flour, this pie has a tangy and rich flavor similar to Chess pie.
- Sugar cream pie: Popular in the Midwest, this pie features a smooth and creamy custard filling made from sugar, cream, and flour.
- Shoofly pie: A traditional Amish dessert, Shoofly pie has a gooey molasses filling that is similar in texture to Chess pie.
- Key lime pie: This classic Florida dessert has a tangy and refreshing flavor, thanks to the use of fresh lime juice in the filling.
- Pecan pie: A Southern favorite, Pecan pie features a caramel-like filling filled with pecans, giving it a nutty and sweet flavor.

Whether you enjoy a traditional Iva Fish Chess Pie or venture into other pie variations, these desserts are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you wanting more. So, gather your ingredients, bake a pie, and savor a slice of Southern history with every bite.

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