Have you ever eaten buttermilk pie? It’s always been a bit of a mystery to me and yet it’s a southern classic. Recently I baked a buttermilk pie because it was national pie day and I don’t need much of an excuse to bake. I was curious about a recipe that had been tucked away in my storage box filled with hand written recipe cards and notes that hadn’t seen the light of day in quite a while.
Being a pie enthusiast, I went a little crazy celebrating the made up holiday of national pie day and created an assortment of mini tarts. This mini buttermilk pie is topped with blueberries and almonds, and so good. Now, back to my buttermilk pie recipe exploring.
Adele, a friend who used to live in our neighborhood, is a buttermilk pie fan and one year, for her birthday, I baked one for her. I never tasted it, but used that same recipe this time. Not knowing what buttermilk pie should taste like, I still felt there may be something lacking. The flavor and texture reminded me of a sweet quiche.
Like a quiche, the pie puffs up while baking, then deflates as it cools.
I baked another buttermilk pie, the second time leaving the top exposed in the oven without covering it with foil, plus I added lemon and lemon zest and that made all the difference to me. The tinge of color and citrus addition amped up the flavor and it is fantastic. Those who have been waiting to get the recipe, I hope you enjoy this one I’ve come up with.
Standard Pie Crust
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 3 tablespoons ice cold water
Add flour, salt and shortening to food processor and pulse a few times until it’s crumbly and mixed together. Add the water and do a few more pulses until it forms a ball. Avoid over mixing, and transfer onto a floured surface. Roll out to a 12-inch circle, dusting additional flour as needed. Transfer to pie plate and form edges or trim as plainly or elaborately as you wish.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Shape crust into a pie plate, then prepare to bake it before filling with the buttermilk pie ingredients. Place dry beans or ceramic pie beads in the center atop the unbaked crust to prevent it from puffing up during baking. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, then remove from oven.
Take out all the beads or beans and allow the crust to cool somewhat.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 F degrees. Heat butter in microwave or on the stovetop without it browning. Stir in sugar and flour. Next, add buttermilk, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and salt. Beat eggs in stand mixer for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the buttermilk mixture until smooth. Pour into baked crust. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. After the pie cools briefly, refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting. Serve with fresh strawberries, blueberries, nuts or anything, as it’s a blank canvas — a very tasty one. Grab a fork!