Jefferson Davis Pie!

This is one of those pies that is pretty much made only in the South and even in the South, more than likely in just a few states or regions of the South.   We make it in Kentucky, probably because this is where Jefferson Davis was born in Christian County, KY and there is a state park and monument named for him there.  His family moved to Louisiana and then Mississippi when he was around 12 years old, but he later returned to Lexington, KY to attend college.  Jefferson Davis is best known as the president of the Confederate states during the civil war.   This version of the pie  is very close to the one they serve at the famous Boone Tavern  in Berea, KY and is supposed the be the recipe passed down in the Jefferson Davis family.  It's also sometimes called Kentucky Pie.   

 I find this pie to be similar to a Chess Pie, but to me it's not quite as rich.   It's best served with a dollop of whipped cream.  Here is what you will need:

1 deep dish pie shell, unbaked
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the sugars, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. 
Add cream and mix.

Add eggs and mix.

Add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and vanilla and mix.

Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet.  This helps the pie cook evenly and it catches any spill overs.  Pour the mixture into the shell and carefully place in the oven.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.   Reduce heat to 350 and bake for approximately 40 -45 minutes.  It will puff up some, but will fall back down when it cools.  Cool and serve with whipped cream... bourbon whipped cream is especially good! 

Bourbon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbs. white sugar
1 Tbs. good Kentucky Bourbon

Whip cream and sugar until peaks form and then fold in bourbon.  Serve immediately.

Jefferson Davis Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream! 


  1. Outta Sight DEEELISH!!!!

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe. I've had this before but never remembered to look up the recipe. My son goes to Berea College and I always stay at the Boone Tavern when I'm there.

  3. I am from Texas and grew up with my Mom making this for us. It is a family favorite! One of the best "custard" pies in the world!!!

  4. G'day and YUM! TRUE!
    Always enjoy learning something new when it comes to food too! Thank you!
    What's On The List

  5. I know in my heart it would be wrong and I still want to add a big mess of pecans to this pie.

  6. So excited to give this one a try. I have always loved chess pie and this sounds amazing. Didn't think you could improve on a classic but this may just push it over the edge. Thanks!

  7. I am so happy to have found your Sweet Tea and Cornbread page. I am a pure bred southern gal and your recipes taste like home to me and remind me of my childhood, too. This recipe is special because I grew up in Jeff Davis County in South Georgia. I will definitely pass it down as a nod to my family heritage. Thank you for posting it and ALL the others, too!!

  8. I see no difference btw this and a chess pie. I seems like a chess pie variation. YUM though.

  9. So glad to find this recipe, they used to serve this pie at a local cafeteria (Wyatt's) which is no longer in business. Both my husband and I love it, I did notice that a few items they used weren't in the recipe but I'll add them.

  10. Absolutely delicious!! Just as an added bonus I used Rebel Yell Bourbon in the whipped cream.



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