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Buttermilk cake, pie, tart, cookies,...anything?

I just bought half a gallon of buttermilk in a glass container (by mistake, it was in the regular milk section). It was pretty expensive so I don't want to use it to soak chicken in. Do you have a favorite recipe where the quality of buttermilk would matter? I don't like it to drink. Even better if it's something you can freeze either for Christmas dessert or brunch since I'm doing both. Thanks! How long will this last?

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  1. Wow that's really expensive buttermilk. I made this recipe before: http://www.recipezaar.com/56 it was really a simple buttermilk pie but it was delicious and clean tasting. If you want to make it more interesting I think some lemon zest may help but I enjoyed it as it was. Also there's a buttermilk pastry cream recipe on chow that looks promising.

    2 Replies
    1. re: digkv

      Thanks--I've seen this recipe. Does it taste like a custard pie? A buttermilk pastry cream sounds promising--maybe cream puffs since my in-laws always buy a box of Costco ones.

      1. re: chowser

        It sort of does taste like a custard pie but I don't know, different in a sort of way. It's a good way to showcase your buttermilk, I guess.

    2. RLB, in The Pie and Pastry Bible, has a recipe for Buttermilk Chess Pie with a Buttermilk Flaky Pie Crust. She also has a recipe for Buttermilk Ice Cream. Unfortunately, the pie can't be frozen; she says it's best eaten the same day.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        Those sound great. Reminds me to pull out the Cake Bible and see what I can find, too. Have anyone tried the buttermilk pie crust? I'd like to see how it compares to other crusts.

        1. re: chowser

          I have made pie dough with buttermilk in it (not from that book, sort of was inspired by the King Arthur Flour all purpose recipe that has a pinch of baking powder and vinegar and buttermilk powder). It is not strongly flavored, obviously, but it has a mild tang.

          As to the buttermilk pie, it is lighter than a custard pie with a different taste, and I think that's a good way to use it rather than in something where it will disappear. I like chess type pies with buttermilk a lot. They're subtle and yummy.

          Also, the New Southern Baking book by Damon Lee Fowler has a corn bread made with buttermilk, in cast iron pan, with very few ingredients, that I found to be amazing when eaten IMMEDIATELY out of the oven but was fairly middling later that day. As an aside, he recommends using yogurt thinned out a bit with milk and a bit of salt as a preferred substitute for buttermilk (as in, he likes the yogurt more than today's buttermilk).

      2. Texas Sheet Cake is quite good although it doesn't use a ton of buttermilk.... Here is a link to a recipe for it. I use chocolate ganache to ice it. Wow.


        1 Reply
        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          My recipe for Texas sheet cake calls for sour cream but I've found them interchangeable. Good idea on the chocolate ganache frosting--always seems to improve things.

        2. Let me add another one: Buttermilk Pancakes

          This is my Sunday morning go-to recipe:

          1 cup all-purpose flour
          1 teaspoon sugar
          1 teaspoon baking powder
          1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          1 egg, lightly beaten
          1 cup buttermilk (and more if needed)
          1/2 teaspoon vanilla
          2 tablespoons melted butter

          1. Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
          2. Add the wet ingredients and stir gently just until incorporated; the batter should be slightly lumpy. Add more buttermilk if necessary. The batter should be on the thinner rather than thicker side.
          3. Cook both sides until golden brown.

          These pancakes and maple syrup - perfect. Can add blueberries, banana etc...if desired.

          7 Replies
          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            does this make for a fluffy 'tall' pancake? I don't know if it's my pan (I don't have a griddle so I use a non-stick frying pan) but my pancake always comes out pretty thin. I use the basic pancake recipe from Joy of Cooking.

            I'm looking for a big fluffly 'tall' pancake recipe.

            1. re: OnceUponABite

              This does get fluffy. I imagine there's some chemical reaction, but buttermilk pancakes really puff when they cook. It's so much fun to watch.

              1. re: OnceUponABite

                Yes these do puff, but then when you take them off the griddle they go down a bit. I would not say they get tall. What I like about them is the buttermilk makes them soft.

                I truly hate, and I mean hate, pancakes at most diners/breakfast joints. The pancakes are usually super huge, thick and dense. Yuck. Bigger is not better. I like them so soft they melt in your mouth. You don't want to make them too thin, but you don''t want thick pancakes either.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  this place we go to, Mama's by Washington Square, has big, tall, and fluffy pancakes, not dense. I'd like to recreate that..

                2. re: OnceUponABite

                  This is going to sound pathetic, but that Perfect Pancake pan makes very tall fluffy pancakes. One at a time sadly, but any recipe I use turns out very tall. It's kind of nice. The pan is cheap and crappy, but makes beautiful pancakes.

                3. re: TrishUntrapped

                  This was the first thing on my mind actually--that we're going to have buttermilk pancakes every morning!

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    I'll have to try this recipe tomorrow. I just made the Best Recipe buttermilk pancakes which do get tall and fluffy. It's generally my go-to pancake recipe. For anyone interested, here's the recipe:

                    1 c. flour
                    2 tsp sugar
                    1/4 tsp baking soda
                    1/2 tsp baking powder
                    1/2 tsp salt

                    Whisk together.

                    2 Tbsp melted butter mixed with egg yolk

                    1/4 c butter milk
                    1/4 c. milk
                    egg white

                    Mix together in pyrex cup and add butter mixture. Pour wet into dry, mix lightly. Add milk if batter is dry. I also add vanilla to the wet ingredients.

                  2. Do you have an ice cream freezer? Zest lemon to taste into the buttermilk, then whisk in sugar to your desired sweetness. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze. It's so wonderful. I love it on its own, or on top of desserts (perhaps with blueberry pie for dessert, or on its own as a brunch dessert).

                    Also, note that buttermil lasts a long time, so you have some leeway in making it.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: katecm

                      That's all there is to buttermilk ice cream? Does it taste like frozen yogurt? My kids don't like the tang of buttermilk but this sounds great to me.

                      1. re: chowser

                        It tastes a big yogurty, perhaps. I make it with a pretty strong lemon flavor, but the buttermilk in the back of your mouth really adds depth. I made it once for a restaurant critic and he couldn't get over it. I never told him that it has three ingredients (though sometimes I do add vanilla!).

                        I have played with it with success, too. For example, I made it to top a crumble with recently, with cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.

                        1. re: katecm

                          I have made this, and it's very easy and very good!

                    2. There's a great recipe for buttermilk cake in the Cake Bible. And I pour buttermilk on rolled oats and leave it in the refrgerator overnight to eat for breakfast as muesli. With fruit and chopped nuts. Also, buttermilk keeps for pretty long.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NYCkaren

                        I totally blipped and didn't think of using the Cake Bible until JoanN reminded me. I don't know why because it's typically my go-to book for cakes. Thanks!

                      2. Buttermilk is good in cornbread or muffins. Muffins freeze pretty well.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jlafler

                          Thanks. I'll have to look for recipes for them that use buttermilk. I have powdered buttermilk all the time but rarely have real buttermilk unless I specially need it so I don't keep recipes that calls for it.

                        2. Blueberry Buttermilk Tart. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                          Fantastic with fresh berries, and almost as good with frozen.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: clepro

                            That looks like a rich tart! I can't use fresh this late in the year but Trader Joe's has decent frozen ones that I could use. This might be a great Christmas night dessert. My in-laws aren't into seasonal desserts.

                            1. re: chowser

                              I wholeheartedly second this dessert - it's fabulous! It's one of my summer staples. I've never tried it with frozen berries, but I can't imagine that it would suffer too much.

                              I also have a great recipe for a blueberry buttermilk coffee cake with streusel topping if you're interested.

                              1. re: cookiegirl

                                Hi Cookiegirl-

                                Can I please get that recipe? Thanks

                              2. re: chowser

                                I don't find it rich. Delicious though. The buttermilk lightens the filling.

                                I made it with graham cracker crust once and that was a mistake - overwhelmed the flavour of the filling and too much like cheescake.

                            2. I think you can also freeze buttermilk, as long as you are baking with it. Frozen in cubes, as long as you know the measurement of a cube, would make it easy to use up, eventually, when you need just 4 cubes worth at a time, instead of tossing expensive buttermilk.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: violabratsche

                                I love this idea--thanks. I'll try some of the recipes above and freeze the rest. Maybe I'll measure half cups into zip lock bags and then freeze.

                              2. There is a very simple recipe for a Scandinavian Buttermilkd pudding that I used to make. The 'recipe' is long gone, but I think you can fake it. Simply add 1 tsp each lime and lemon zest to a quart of buttermilk, add liquid sweetener (or sugar-this was a diet recipe inmy house) to taste and 'gel' the result with Knox or other packaged gelatin...might take two packets, see the instructions.Put in big pretty glass bowl and chill

                                Yes, I know it sounds odd, but it is actually quite delicious and practically guilt free! Makes a very nice backdrop for a raspberry coulis.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LJS

                                  Sounds good, like a buttermilk panna cotta. Come to think of it, there was a buttermilk panna cotta recipe I've wanted to try on Epicurious.com.

                                2. This is fantastic. Should be eaten warm, though.

                                  Irish Soda Bread

                                  3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
                                  1/4 cup brown sugar
                                  1-1/2 tbsp. baking powder
                                  1/2 tsp. baking soda
                                  1 tsp. salt
                                  3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped (or raisins or dried currants)
                                  2 cups buttermilk
                                  1 egg

                                  Preheat the oven to 375o F.

                                  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dried cranberries and mix well.

                                  In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk and the egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir well until everything is blended. The dough will be pretty soft - that’s ok. Sprinkle some additional flour onto the counter or table (or wherever you like to work) and turn the dough out onto this floured surface. Knead the dough about 10 times - just to make it smooth-ish and pliable. Gently form it into one large, round loaf and place it on a well-greased baking sheet. With a very sharp knife, cut a shallow X into the top of the loaf. This will allow the loaf to expand in a tasteful and attractive manner in the oven, rather than splitting weirdly.

                                  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned, and a toothpick poked into the middle of it comes out clean.

                                  Makes one large round loaf.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                    I love real irish soda bread and haven't found one I love. I'll try this one out tomorrow--thanks!

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      Please report after you've made it. This is definitely a bread that needs to be eaten right away, though. Leftovers are disappointing, but are sort of ok toasted.

                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                        I am eating a piece right out of the oven right now with butter--mmmmm. I know I should let it cool first but I couldn't resist. Delicious--crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, just barely sweet but the cranberries make up for it and add tartness. I don't know if I measured the flour incorrectly, or what, but it was a very wet dough. It didn't come together after kneading, almost like slime, so I added more flour and kneaded more. It was still soft, though, but I managed to shape it in somewhat of a balll. I didn't have a sharp enough knife (might be time to invest in a lame) so it puffed a little in the center but still looks great. Even as I had my hands full w/ wet slimey dough and it crossed my mind to toss it, I thought, I trust Nyleve, I'll go with it. Glad I did--what a simple recipe for such great bread.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          You've just made my day. Thanks for the report! And enjoy. Or - keep enjoying.

                                    2. re: Nyleve

                                      I made this for Sunday dinner as well and wanted to report that it was really good. I too, as chowser, had a pretty loose dough after kneeding and had a hard time trying to make an "X", but all in all not an issue at the end. I did use a jumbo egg which probabbly didn't help,I typically use large for baking but got lazy...thanks for a nice recipie, I am planning on a cold piece for breakfast with my coffee!

                                      Nyleve - have you ever frozen? This is a really big loaf for 2 so I think I may give it a try??

                                    3. How about panna cotta ?

                                      I just made pumpkin panna cotta today.
                                      It's not too heavy even heavy whipping cream in it.
                                      you can taste tangy-ness from buttermilk , too.

                                      1. The buttermilk panne cotta is wonderful. With fruit of some kind or a sauce on the side. The quality would definitely matter.

                                        1. not a concern for the original poster but we have had supermarket buttermilk last for months in the refrig. It does mold eventually but not quickly. At any rate, it is much less perishable than non-cultured milk products.