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Horizontal shot of a slice of lemon chess pie on a plate with a fork sticking out of it.

Lemon Chess Pie

Lemon Chess Pie is a perfect tartly sweet Southern creation of eggs, sugar, butter, and a little bit of flour and cornmeal that tantalizes the taste buds with it’s unique flavor and texture.
Course Desserts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 to 10
Author Megan Wells



  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 2/3 cup frozen butter grated
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons to 10 ice cold water


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice



  1. Sift two cups of flour into a large bowl and grate the frozen butter into the bowl. Using two forks, cut the butter into the flour until the consistency is very fine, like corn meal.
  2. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and toss to combine. Add, a tablespoon at a time, ice cold water, tossing and cutting it into the dough each time. How many tablespoons you need will depend on the weather, but keep adding until the dough sticks together but isn't soggy.
  3. Separate the dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Put them in the fridge for 15 minutes or until it is easy to handle.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Take out one of the balls of dough and roll it out into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Make sure it is slightly larger then an 8-inch pie tin.
  6. Carefully place the rolled out crust into the pie tin and flute the edges. The dough will shrink in the oven so make sure the flutes aren't on the inside edge of the pie tin. Poke the dough with a fork in the center and along the edges. Put in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Take it out and let it cool. Place foil around the edges and the prepare the filling.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss together sugar, corn meal, and flour.
  3. Stir eggs and add to the dry mixture.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest, milk, melted butter, and lemon juice.
  5. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 1 hour. Check the pie. If it has risen slightly, including the middle and is a golden yellow color with a crusty top, it is done. If the middle is still sunken and moves like a wave cook for 10 to 30 minutes more, adding 10 minutes at a time until the middle is done.

Recipe Notes

The pie crust recipe is for two topless pies or one covered pie. I just store the extra dough in the freezer to use for another time.