I have a question about the recipe "Lemon Chess Pie" from ElsenEM. Is the cornmeal critical to the recipe? Can anything be substituted for it? I generally don't have cornmeal stocked in my pantry. Thanks!
Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)
All the recipes I looked at quickly (4 different ones, all from reputable sources) call for cornmeal. It may just be necessary--though for what, I'm not sure. hopefully someone else will weigh in.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
You could use another 1 tablespoon of flour, as both flour and corn meal are used as thickeners for this custard. However, Chess Pie is a Southern tradition, and corn meal is a staple in most Southern kitchens. It does make a difference in the texture of the finished pie. If you don't make a recipe the way it was written (at least) the first time, you'll have no clue what the author meant you to taste. I always recommend following the recipe to the letter the first time, before going off making substitutions -- unless the subs are made for health or religious reasons.
Follow-up question! It sounds like people are in favor of using cornmeal, but does it have to be the stone-ground yellow cornmeal this recipe calls for? I have normal grits, could I sub those?