For some reason, I tend to think of pie as a summer or spring dessert. Maybe I hold that image of picnics and outdoor parties where the loaded summer fruit pies come out, peach and strawberry and fresh, juicy fruit – with a pecan pie thrown in for good measure. But pie is really an all-round treat, and a perfect, creamy, tangy winter Southern pie is classic Buttermilk Pie.
I first came across a recipe for Buttermilk Pie as a kid, when I loved being in the kitchen, but my skills were generally limited to stirring and pouring. Whisking was actually an advanced technique. I have had the recipe on a card for ever, who knows where it originally came from, and it sees the light of day occasionally, particularly when I have a surfeit of buttermilk from making biscuits. I have no problem using a purchased pie crust for speed, but if I have a homemade one in the freezer or am in the mood to make one, I feel very industrious.
You can sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top of the filling before baking if you’d like.
Pastry for 1 (9 inch) pie
½ cup (1 stick) butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups buttermilk (low-fat or whole), shaken well
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Fit the pastry into a 9 inch pie plate.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. When the butter is cool, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the flour, sugar and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour in the butter and whisk throroughly. Add the buttermilk in a drizzle while whisking until the filling is smooth and fully incorporated.
Pour the filling into the crust and use a sharp pointed knife to pop any large air bubbles that form. Shape a piece of aluminum foil to fit over the pie before you transfer it to the oven, but put the pie in the oven uncovered at first.
Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes, then cover the pie with the prepared foil and lower the heat to 325 degrees. Continue baking until the filling is set, 30 – 35 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely. I prefer to chill the pie overnight, but it can be eaten at room temperature.