There are really two parts to the story behind this pie.
PART 1: eons ago, when Unicorns roamed the earth and I was in college, I waited tables at a place called Threadgill's - Home Cookin'. One of the desserts was (and still is) buttermilk pie, which I never took a liking too because I found it to be sweet - just SWEET and nothing else. So I never ate it.
PART 2: Fast forward to the present. I know I want to make something sweet for chili week, I know I do NOT want to go back to the store, so I start rooting around in the pantry and fridge. One thing we almost always have is buttermilk. And of course I have chilis galore this week and so ... this idea started formulating ... what if there were more to the buttermilk pie than just sweet? And so ... a pie is born. And it is good. - aargersi —aargersi
Test Kitchen Notes
Classic buttermilk pie gets a twist (ahem) from aargersi, who does right by envisioning it as something beyond its sweet self. She dreams up a filling speckled with green heat and packs more peppers into the pie by sneaking them into the crust two ways. And the candied pepper garnish is so pretty. Sweet, hot and tangy, this is a great way to end a meal or start the day! - laurenewe —Lauren Utvich
red fresno peppers
1 and 1/2 cups
super fine sugar
1 1/2 cups
ground chili (NOT chili powder with other stuff in it too - my sister sent me some sundried chili from New Mexico that is AMAZING - but ground ancho will work fine - there are a bunch of kinds on line too)
Make the sugared pepper rings: bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Core and seed the fresnos, core and seed 3 of the jalapenos. Slice them into thin rings and put them in the simple syrup. Let them soak for a half hour. Strain them out - SAVE THE SYRUP! shake them pretty dry, then gently toss them in the superfine sugar. Spread them out on a sheet pan covered with parchment to dry for several hours or over night. Put the syrup in the fridge.
Make the pie crust: cut half the butter up and put it in the freezer for about a half hour. Put 1 cup plus 2 tbs flour in your food processor, add the salt, chili powder and butter. Pulse a few times to blend. Add 1 tbs of your spicy simple syrup and pulse, then add ice water 1 tbs at a time and pulse until the dough just comes together. Pat the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and into the fridge for a half hour.
Heat the oven to 350. Flour your rolling surface and roll the dough out to fit a standard 10" pie plate. Lay the crust into the pie plate and trim the edges (Amanda and Merrill have a video the shows rolling and trimming here on Food52) then pierce it a few times with a fork. Lay a sheet of parchment across and add pie weights or rice and beans. Put it on a cookie sheet (this makes moving it in and out of the oven a LOT easier plus the pie is a buttery sucker and will drip a little) and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the weights and bake 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile make the filling. Melt the rest of the butter, and finely mince the other jalapeno - no seeds please! Beat the buttermilk, eggs, 1 tbs flour and remaining cup of sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of the minced jalapeno, the melted butter, and lime juice and zest and mix.
Now, pour the mixture into your pie crust, and use a pastry brush to get the butter remnants from the pan you melted it in and brush the edges of the crust. Bake until the custard is set - 30-35 minutes. Cool completely, adorn with your sugared pepper rings, and enjoy! Sharing with neighbors is always nice ....
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage https://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbiesGarage?ref=search_shop_redirect