There are so many reasons to love Pi Day. The chief among them is that it inspires people to make pies, even if National Pie Day was in January. I know that makes no sense. But that is the joy of Pi Day.
For those of us who didn’t study math with any great enthusiasm, pi was just 3.141592 (rounded, of course, to 3.14). It first came to my attention in 2015, when the numerals lined up to 3/14/15, or March 14, 2015. I made a French silk pie, with a whipped cream pi symbol, π.
With the frightful weather outside, today was a good day for making pies inside. It’s also citrus season. The two combined to inspire today’s pie, which is Lemon Chess Pie. Why it is called chess pie is somewhat uncertain. That this is Southern is not in dispute. The rest is kind of murky. There are some theories on What’s Cooking America that it really was a term for cheese pie. There is no cheese in it, so it seems a bit of a stretch.
Even the ingredient list can vary by chef. The filling is lemon juice, sugar, egg, butter, and some cornmeal. Some recipes call for milk, cream, flour, cornstarch. Adding milk or cream will create a fluffier filling. The recipe I like has no milk or cream, so the filling is pure lemon flavor – a lot like lemon bars.
On this snowy Pi Day, this Lemon Chess Pie is a little taste of sunshine.