It's not the same as chess pie or chess bars - And I do believe it's a Kentucky thing, but it might just be a regional Kentucky thing, because not everyone from Kentucky has heard of them. Here's a recipe: (I think that you can also divide up the mixture into frozen tart cups) By the way - I only live 30 mins. from Magee's Bakery in Kentucky - where they make and distribute transparent tarts and pies all over the U.S.
Maysville’s Historic Transparent Pie
Recipe from: Best of the Best from Kentucky
Cookbook Heaven at Recipelink.com
Actor George Clooney, a native of Augusta, Kentucky, not only travels to Maysville to purchase transparent tarts, but has brought them to share at movie sets and television studios.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup cream
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell
Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add cream, and mix well. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
From: Pride of Kentucky
You may be thinking of a chess pie, which is pretty much a pecan pie sans pecans. I haven't seen them in VA or MD. Chess pies aren't just a Kentucky thing (though I did grow up there), they were found throughout the South. The filling isn't hard to make and you can find several recipes at http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0...
As a matter of fact, transparent pies are NOT Chess pies and they are not a statewide Kentucky thing. I grew up in Maysville, KY and at the same time grew up with Transparent pies and transparent tarts, which is a pie that is found nowhere else , whether in Kentucky or elsewhere. Most old-line Maysville families have their own recipes for Transparent pies--I make them frequently and I use my Mother's tried and true recipe. I now live in Tennessee and whenever I make a Transparent pie or tarts, I DO get the comment "This is Chess Pie"--I guess because whenever one sees something that looks familiar they stretch to try to identify it within the framework of what they know. But Chess pie has vinegar as one of the ingredients, and, not being a Chess pie maker, I don't know what else goes into a Chess pie.. But I do know that Transparent pie is a genre in its own right and is, definitely, a Maysville, Kentucky thing. George Clooney, whose family is from Maysville, still orders the transparent tarts from Maysville to take onto movie sets.