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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kentucky Transparent Pie

When I asked for recipe requests recently on our Facebook Fan page, I got a number of requests for pies. One of those was for "Transparent Pie." I'll admit I'd never heard of that and it conjured up thoughts of some strange concoction with the consistency of Jell-O or something. Intrigued I decided to research the elusive Transparent Pie.

What I found was that it was akin to the more common Chess Pie. In fact, the major difference is that the Transparent Pie that hails from Kentucky doesn't contain lemon or vinegar to cut the sweetness. Other than that, they're pretty close. Now, that said, in my research I ran across all kinds of variations that use the title Transparent Pie but are, in reality, other things. Some are fruit pies, some are actually chess pies, and some... I'm not even sure what to call them. However, it appears that the classic Transparent Pie from Kentucky is pretty straightforward, simple, and delicious!

This pie can be made in a traditional pie plate, or as I've adapted it, in a tart shell. In fact, mini tarts made with the transparent filling seem to be quite popular in Kentucky. This is a very rich and sweet pie with lots of vanilla flavor - think of it like a rich buttery genoise cake that is super moist!

Recipe: Transparent Pie


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan with unbaked pie shell (either homemade or refrigerated.) Place in freezer while you prepare filling. This will keep the shell from shrinking when in the oven.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add cream, and mix until smooth. Beat in eggs until combined, then stir in flour and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake at 375°. for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Quick Notes

Pie will rise in oven almost like a cake then sink when removed to cool. Don't be alarmed!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min
Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 8
Meal type: dessert
Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe adapted by Buck Bannister.

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