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Buttermilk Pie

The "When Is Thanksgiving?" thread in General Topics has veered off into a discussion of a Thanksgiving favorite in our house, buttermilk pie. In case there was any interest, I decided to post my recipe.

As noted in the other thread, buttermilk pie is a southern thing, related to but not identical to chess pies. Made properly, it's nicely dense and not overwhelmingly sweet as southern desserts go, and the unconventional mixture of buttermilk and lemon juice works surprisingly well together. I personally think this pie is best served chilled but not refrigerator-cold: take it out a few minutes prior to serving.

BUTTERMILK PIE

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup buttermilk
ground nutmeg
1 deep-dish piecrust, at least 9 inches

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add lemon juice, vanilla, flour and buttermilk. (Note: mixture may curdle. Don't panic.) Pour into piecrust and dust with ground nutmeg. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Pie may look puffy at first, but will deflate and become denser as it cools. Cool completely then room temperature, then chill.

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  1. Thank you so much! I especially appreciate the warning against panic should the mixture curdle!

    Have you ever tried to bake it in mini-pies or even ramekins? (I'm sorry, but I'm obsessed by miniature baked goods.)

    Sadly, I'm not familiar with chess pie. What are the fundamental differences between the two, if you don't mind...

    I am definitely going to try this!

    ~TDQ

    5 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      In my experience, chess pies are much sweeter than buttermilk pie, and they're often made with corn syrup, which gives them a rather different texture.

      I've occasionally split the filling into two seven- or eight-inch pies, but I've never gone smaller than that. Don't see why it wouldn't work if that's what you want.

      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        Sounds like buttermilk pie is the pie for me!

        I shall report back. Give me a couple of months, my cooking and baking docket is pretty overloaded...

        ~TDQ

      2. re: The Dairy Queen

        We've baked Buttermilk pie ( somewhat similar recipe) in little tart shells bought frozen...
        They are always a big hit!! Love the Crust to filling ratio!

        Enjoy!

        1. re: Uncle Bob

          Awesome! That's exactly what I was thinking. Do you recall having to make any major adjustments to baking times or anything (I suppose there's a rule of thumb for that sort of conversion, I just don't know what it is.)

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            The full pie we usually bake at 350* in the 45-55 minutes range...The smaller ones in the tart shell..I'm sorry I don't have an exact time..but it's a good bit less..until it's just set in the center. HTH

            Fun!

      3. I love Buttermilk Pie. Sometimes, I make Buttermilk Coconut Pie, because my husband LOVES coconut and many of the traditional coconut pie recipies are just too sweet for me. It's become his favorite pie. I haven't made it since Publix stopped carrying unsweetened coconut. :-(

        3 Replies
        1. re: onrushpam

          That sounds really good. How do you modify the recipe to make buttermilk coconut pie?

          1. re: Danny

            I like the idea of coconut pie, too!

            (TCL, is that you?)

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              No, it was me. I'm the coconut freak in our house.

              She's kind of scared of The Buttermilk Pie Experiment

        2. I too love buttermilk pie. I add the zest from the lemon and up the nutmeg a bit. Lemon and Nutmeg are a great flavor meld!