If your summer travels have ever taken you to the beach through Alabama and down Interstate 65, chances are you've passed the giant peach water tower in Clanton–about halfway between Birmingham and Montgomery. Built in 1992, the towering stone-fruit replica stands at 120-feet tall and holds about 500,000 gallons of water for the local water system. Regardless of its more mundane function, the exciting thing the tower does is welcome folks to the peach capital of Alabama. Despite the fact that it might not look like much from the interstate, peaches are big business in Chilton County. Whether you're headed to Durbin Farms Market to grab a basket of your favorite peach variety or skipping over to Peach Park to cool off with some of their award-winning peach ice cream, if it's peach, they've got it in Clanton. For us, it's a must-stop in the summer. As a kid, I remember detouring to grab all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables at Durbin’s and I’m a particularly big fan of the fried peach pies at Peach Park.
One of my favorite things to do when I get home with those fresh Chilton County peaches is, of course, make peach ice cream. But I also love turning a few into this incredibly delicious Peach Chess Pie. It's got all the flavor of peach cobbler in a decadently sweet custard pie.
WATCH: How To Make Classic Chess Pie
Now, to my knowledge, no one is quite sure why we call this custardy beauty a chess pie, but the theories abound. From where they were stored (in a chest) to how we Southerners might say “it’s jus' pie,” many folks have their guesses. I just know that I'm a big fan of it and its cousins, vinegar and buttermilk pies. One thing that seems consistent is that chess pie almost always contains a small amount of cornmeal or flour. Regardless of what’s in it, I just know that this version is delicious!
Blogger and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Stacey Little is committed to getting folks back to the table for dinner. His quick and easy recipes are helping busy families get a home-cooked meal on the table without a lot of hassle or expense. Southern Living Magazine has repeatedly named Stacey a top blogger to follow and a favorite Southern blogger. He has appeared on The Today Show and Fox and Friends and has lent his talents to national brands like Betty Crocker, White Lily, Martha White, Kraft, Queen Latifah, and Reese Witherspoon—just to name a few. Today, his easy, delicious recipes and heartfelt stories have brought tens of millions to his blog, SouthernBite.com, since he created it in 2008. Stacey's cookbook, The Southern Bite Cookbook, is available at book retailers across the country and online. Stacey's deep Southern roots have him firmly planted in central Alabama where he lives with his wife, little boy, two dogs, and his collection of cast iron skillets.