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!
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.
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?