Benne and Rye Chess Pie


  • 1 lb. Flour
  • 1⁄2 lb. Sprouted rye flour
  • 1⁄4 c Benne seeds, toasted
  • 5 g Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. Unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 6 to 7 oz. Ice water
  • 3 T Benne cake flour
  • 1-1⁄2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1⁄8 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 c Brown sugar
  • 6 T Buttermilk
  • 3⁄4 c Melted butter
  • 4-1⁄2 T Sweet potato juice
  • 3⁄4 tsp. Sherry vinegar
  • Sweet Potato-Honey Herb Syrup, recipe follows


Combine flours, benne seeds and salt, and work in the butter. Add water to form a dough, shape into flat rounds and chill 30 minutes. Roll dough out for a 9-inch pie pan; chill.

Combine benne flour, salt and spices; set aside. Whisk eggs with sugar; add buttermilk, butter, sweet potato juice and vinegar.

Whisk in dry ingredients and pour into shell. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for an hour, covering the rim of the crust to prevent burning. Cool; slice and drizzle with Sweet Potato-Honey Herb Syrup. Makes 1 pie and 4 to 5 pie shells.

To make Sweet Potato-Honey Herb Syrup: heat 227 grams butter, 460 grams brown sugar until dissolved. Add 150 grams honey, 160 grams sweet potato juice, 3 grams salt and 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar. Add 2 cups roasted and chopped pecans and hazelnuts and 12.5 grams chopped rosemary, thyme and sage. Makes 2 quarts.

Pastry Chef Kaley Laird Rhubarb, the Rhu and Benne on Eagle, Asheville, North Carolina from Food Fanatics Magazine®