Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Buttermilk Pie

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.

Buttermilk Pie

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 eggs

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.

Serves 8


8 comments to Buttermilk Pie

  • I have heard of this pie but have never had it. This may be my chance!

  • mom2boys

    Can’t wait to make this! My grandmother used to make this for us when we were young. I had forgotten about it. Thanks PC!

  • Beautiful and clearly delicious. Even the name makes me happy. Local dairy offers old-timey buttermilk in glass milk bottles. I’m gonna have me a buttermilk-centric week, thanks to Runaway Spoon.

  • This pie is so simple I’ll bet even I could make it! 🙂 I’m imagining it will be like a cheesecake pie, but lighter. Can’t wait!

  • My grandmother used to make this scrumptious treat regularly, and I haven’t thought of it for years. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely recipe and reminding me that I need to make it pronto.

  • Perre, I LOVE buttermilk pie! And I agree with your pie sentiments; I make many more pies in the summer than at other times of year, save Thanksgiving. I like to bring buttermilk pie to a 2-pie event as a compliment to a fruit pie. The buttermilk pie recipe I use is from that famous Southern cook, Martha Stewart (ha!) and has a lemony element, but I’ll try yours next time.

  • Lisa

    I have never had buttermilk pie. Can I use regular milk with lemon juice as a substitute for the buttermilk?

  • I really don’t think you can subsitute for real buttermilk in this recipe. The buttermilk is what gives the pie tangy flavor and creamy consistency.

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