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Author Notes: Buttermilk pie is so magical. I was very skeptical before I tasted it for the first time. It is basically a vanilla custard pie with a bit of southern drawl. I've heard southern bakers call it "sugar pie." This pie is perfect in so many ways because it's unique, simple and a flash to make. It's also incredibly beautiful after it's baked because the top of the filling becomes golden brown and flaky while the inside remains smooth and custard-y. And you don't even have to par-bake the crust! I have done it both ways, but most old school buttermilk pie recipes insist you bake the filling in a raw crust. I have also seen quite a few recipes that employ lemon juice and zest instead of vanilla. I think a little zest would be delicious, but you can easily make this a lemon pie if you're not judicious with your use of juice and zest. In addition, there is already an acidic aspect from the buttermilk, which is why I prefer to use good old vanilla extract. —Sam
Makes 1 - 9" pie
- 180 grams all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 113 grams cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- 2-3 ounces cold buttermilk, shaken
- 150 grams eggs (about 3 large)
- 396 grams sugar
- 30 grams all purpose flour
- 113 grams unsalted butter, melted + cooled slightly
- 112 grams buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Make the pie dough by scaling the flour and salt together on a sheet tray. Add the cubed, cold butter on top and begin to cut the butter into the flour with a bench knife until the butter is roughly the size of kidney beans.
- Pour about 2/3 of the buttermilk into the mixture and toss to combine. If the dough clumps together well, form it into two discs. If the dough still seems a bit crumbly, add more buttermilk before shaping it into discs. You want the dough to be moist, not wet.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough and form it into a 9" pie or tart pan that is around 2" deep.Chill the pie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or the freezer for 15.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, briefly whisk the eggs and sugar and then combine with the rest of the ingredients in the order listed. Whisk well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled pie shell, tap it gently a few times against the counter to release air bubbles and then place the pie on the center rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the filling isn't liquid-like. A firm jiggle is what you're looking for. The top of the filling will become flaky and turn beautiful golden brown. If at any point the crust starts to darken too much, shield it and continue baking until the filling is set.
- Let the pie cool completely on a rack before serving. The flavor will improve overnight.