Oh my word. (This is a Southern pie, so naturally I have to start this post with a Southern expression.) The past few days have been the happiest kind of whirlwind, for reasons I can’t wait to share with you all in the coming weeks. As I’m writing this I’m so full and content and dazed that I’m not sure I’m in a fit state to write this for you all! So I’ll keep it short and just share with you something to soothe and calm, amidst all the excitement.
For those of you who are new to chess pie, this little blurb by Southern Living perfectly sums up all you need to know, including the theories behind its funny name. Mine is a fairly standard recipe for the Southern classic, but with a teensy twist (and made miniature, surprise surprise). By infusing the cream with chamomile and thyme, the resulting custard is smooth and sweet, but with faint floral and savory notes that I found irresistible.
The tricky thing about making this mini is that does require you to prepare at least a few tablespoons to 1/4 cup more cream than you’ll end up using — I couldn’t think of a way to infuse the flavor sufficiently otherwise. I found a use for the extra cream by doubling the recipe below to make the four pies shown (and it gave me the chance to tweak the proportions to the right consistency of custard), but I think the extra cream would have been lovely too in tea or coffee, or used to add just the faintest flavor to ice cream. If you’re loathe to waste cream, you could brew tea with the thyme and chamomile, chill it or freeze it, then use it to flavor the pie crust instead.
Finally, note that you’ll need at least an hour of chilling time for the pie crust, and you’ll also need to prebake the crusts, so give plenty of time for this or prepare the dough the night before (or on a separate occasion and freeze).
Enjoy! And, on a separate note, you can find my little recipe for Chinese tea eggs up on Food52 today!