Saturday, January 14, 2012


ph via sugar pie farmhouse

If someone were to offer you a slice of Buttermilk Pie, and you'd never tasted this Southern tradition, your first reaction might be, "Ugh." But this melt-in-your-mouth, custard-like pie comes out of the oven creamy, sweet, and with a slightly tart and tangy flavor. In addition to the star ingredient, buttermilk, the basic filling consists of eggs, melted butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla; and sometimes nutmeg or lemon juice. The trick to a successful pie is not to remove it from the oven prematurely; the pie should be firm, the top golden brown, and the crust slightly browned. Buttermilk pie is kin to chess, vinegar, and pecan pies, the degree of separation just one or two ingredients. I came across a dozen or so variations on the Buttermilk Pie recipe, some dating back to 1867, on Barry Popik's blog The Big Apple. Be sure to check it out.

This particular recipe for Buttermilk Pie comes from Sugar Pie Farmhouse. It has just the right amount of sweetness and a refreshing hint of fresh lemon.

Sister Liza Jane's Southern Buttermilk Pie
Pat-in-the-Pan Crust:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp cold milk
2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl until blended.
  2. Add wet ingredients and stir gently until the dough forms a ball (do not over mix).
  3. Put dough into a pie pan and pat it thin and flat to conform to the shape of the pan.
  4. Crimp the edges.
  5. Make filling.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp flour
4 eggs, whisked
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter, melted and cooled (1/2 cup)
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
pinch of grated nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. In a mixer, combine the flour and sugar.
  3. Stir in the eggs, and buttermilk.
  4. Add the cooled melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  5. Add a pinch or two of grated nutmeg.
  6. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
  7. Put the pie in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350º F and bake an additional 40 minutes.
  8. Cool, then keep chilled.

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