Sesame Chess Pie

January 18, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Victor Garzon
  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes one 9-inch (23-centimeter) pie
Author Notes

The question that generated this recipe was pretty simple: What if we replaced the butter in a chess pie with a seed or nut butter? To me, tahini was the most interesting “butter” to try. The resulting recipe is a cult hit, especially in our Manhattan location, where we’ve given this pie the efficient nickname “Chessame.”

Reprinted from PIE FOR EVERYONE: Recipes and Stories from Petee's Pie, New York's Best Pie Shop by Petra Paradez. Photos copyright © 2020 by Victor Garzon. Published by ABRAMS.petraparedez

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-fine cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) tahini
  • 1/3 cup (75 milliliters) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 single-crust pie dough recipe, rolled and crimped into a 9-inch pan
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, and tahini until the texture is consistent. Whisk in the buttermilk, cream, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Place the crust on a baking sheet and pour in the filling, making sure to scrape the entire contents from the sides of the bowl into the pie. Sprinkle the sesame seeds all over the filling. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F (175°C). Bake for 40 minutes more, or until the center of the pie has puffed up.
  4. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature.

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1 Review

Smaug January 20, 2021
Good little article, which actually seems to have been researched past looking on Wikipedia (well, it is a reprint). Some comparison of styles and recipes would be interesting- all I recall seeing in the past are lemon chess pie recipes, which have been too sweet for me and not enough lemon for a lemon country dweller; we like it strong.