Wishing for the rich tangy goodness of cheesecake, but short on time to fuss? My Easy Buttermilk Pie uses only six ingredients, and gets stirred together with a fork. Made in minutes, it’s what you need for your Thanksgiving celebration.
What is Buttermilk Pie?
Buttermilk Pie is an old-timer which was surely edged over to the sidelines by the move away from d.i.y.-dairying during the second half of the twentieth century. My maternal grandparents’ dairy farm in North Carolina supplied my mother’s family with raw milk and magnificently rich sweet cream, which they turned into pasteurized milk, butter, and its byproduct, buttermilk.
What does buttermilk taste like?
Think tart and tangy, sour and bright. While it’s not a common daily beverage today, my grandfather’s routine afternoon snack was a tall glass filled with chunks of crumbled-up cornbread left over from Grandmother’s enormous farmhouse lunch. (That lunch was known then as ‘dinner’ back in the day, but that’s another story).
He filled the glass to the brim with cold buttermilk. He used a long-handled spoon to mix the treat to his liking, and then savored it standing at the kitchen window, gazing out past the pecan tree into the farmyard. Grandaddy didn’t have much use for sweets, and I never have come far beyond my childhood sense of awe and alarm that someone I loved could devour something I found so sour and strange with such contentment and pleasure.
What does Buttermilk Pie taste like?
Buttermilk Pie puts it together for me — the dense, refreshing quality that I imagine Grandaddy found in his glass of cornbread baptized in buttermilk. Think cheesecake flavor profile, with a way- more delicate texture. Think egg custard pie with a tart little kick. Think vanilla pudding with attitude. Here’ to the sweet-sour creamy goodness of a classic pie that is earning back its place on the pies-we-love table.
Any Substitutes for Buttermilk in this Recipe?
Why yes, indeed, there is a very simple substitute you can make in 15 minutes, if you can’t find buttermilk, or wish to save a trip to the store. It’s a mixture of whole milk with an acid, either vinegar or lemon or lime juice.
1 cup of whole milk, plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar, stirred together and left to stand for 15 minutes, makes a great buttermilk substitute. You can use it to make this pie and get great results.
Is it buttermilk? No, but it’s a great buttermilk substitute and works wonderfully in this pie. Whichever one I use, the classic rich locally bottled buttermilk I can find here, or the milk-and-acidic liquid substitute, I call it delicious and easy buttermilk pie.
A Buttermilk Video
I like this video introduction to buttermilk, a few Australian chefs show and tell about this wonderful ingredient. These people are adamant that only traditional buttermilk made as they present it here, is what you need in your life. Note: For the purposes of this pie, and for many baking uses, I get wonderful results with buttermilk made from skim milk plus cultures, and from adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk, causing it to curdle. So use whatever buttermilk-labeled liquid you find in the marketplace, or add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemonjuice to a cup of whole milk, stir well, wait 15 minutes, and then make my easy buttermilk pie.
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine sugar and flour in a medium bowl, and mix them well using a fork or a whisk.In another medium bowl, beat the eggs well with a fork or a whisk.
- Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla, and stir to mix everything together well.
- Add the sugar-flour mixture and stir well until everything is combined into a smooth mixture.
- Pour this filling into the piecrust, and bake in the 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
- Lower the heat to 350 degrees F, and then baked until the pie's edges puff up, and until the pie is almost firm, with just a little wiggling at the center when you shake the pan gently; about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Set the pie on a cooling rack, or onto a folded kitchen towel and let it cool to room temperature.
Makes 19-inch pie (Adapted from Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan, Chronicle Books October 2010)
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 255Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 63mgSodium 212mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 4g