Buttermilk Pie – a sweet and sour treat

The last time I went to Austin, Tx my brother took me out for a night on the town on my birthday. It was a fun night, but the best part was landing at Threadgill’s North where we listened to the Ginger Leigh Band and a few others and feasted on buttermilk pie. I’ll start by saying that my favorite pie is chess pie. My dad starting makdownloading chess pie after we moved from Mississippi to Kansas and we couldn’t get fresh pecans. I’d always hated pecans and when I discovered that chess pie was largely pecan pie without the shitty parts – the pecans – I was over the moon and officially signed up with a favorite pie for life. Now that I’ve tried buttermilk pie, if I can perfect the recipe, chess may be dethroned.

Buttermilk pie is a southern tradition with its origins in the UK. It really has a unique taste as it combines seemingly sour elements (buttermilk, white vinegar) with lots and lots of sugar. For me, it’s one of those desserts that lives somewhere between sweet and sour and when combined with whipped cream creates wonderful contrast on the taste buds.

The Ingredients

Pie crust

I bought a pie crust, but I really enjoyed watching this great video on how to make a pie crust from NancyToday on YouTube. This chef is YouTube and comedy gold.

Pie Filling

  • 1 cup + 2 teaspoons cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarchfile2-3
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of the sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs and egg yolks. Add the buttermilk, heavy cream, melted butter, white vinegar and vanilla extract, and whisk.

Make sure your filling is recently whisked and smooth. Put the pie crust in the oven (just slide the oven rack out a bit), carefully pour the filling into the warmish pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes.

Sliding the oven rack out, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons over the top of the pie, evenly. Bake 35 minutes. The center of the pie should jiggle at the end of this stage. Take the pie out and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. When at temperature, replace the pie and bake until the top is golden brown – between 5-7 minutes – checking constantly.file3-3


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