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Southern Buttermilk Pie

Southern Buttermilk Pie is a classic that remains amongst the most beloved pies in the South. Filled with a sweet and tangy custard, it’s topped with a light dusting of nutmeg. After baking, slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. The velvety custard is certain to make it a favorite sweet ending to your meal.

single slice Southern Buttermilk Pie

Easy Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe

The concept of Southern Buttermilk Pie is believed to have its roots from the English settlers who lived here in the South. You may have also heard of another Southern classic called chess pie. Chess pie is very similar, but uses cornmeal in the custard as opposed to flour for thickening and binding the filling. Lemon juice and vanilla add a hint of flavor to the custard, and this pie is unapologetically sweet. How do you make simple Buttermilk Pie:

  • Pie Crust – One 9 inch deep dish pie crust, either frozen or homemade.
  • Eggs – Large eggs at room temperature.
  • Sugar -Granulated sugar.
  • Flour – All purpose flour.
  • Seasonings – Salt and ground nutmeg for the filling plus additional for dusting the top.
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk (not fat free) at room temperature.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter, melted.
  • Flavorings – Lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  • Whipped cream for serving.
how to make Southern Buttermilk Pie

How to Make the BEST Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Southern Buttermilk Pie: One 9 inch deep dish pie shell, buttermilk, large eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, nutmeg, lemon juice, all purpose flour and whipped cream for serving.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: One 9 inch deep dish pie pan or baking dish, whisk, medium bowl, small bowl, measuring cups and spoons.
  • What kind of buttermilk makes the best buttermilk pie? This is not the time to use nonfat buttermilk. Whole buttermilk yields the best results, but low fat will work in a pinch. Whole fat buttermilk, well shaken.
  • Can I adjust the sugar in buttermilk pie? You can decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup, if you desire. Buttermilk pie is traditionally sweet and the sweetness does mellow a bit as it chills.
  • To make the buttermilk pie easier to move after filling utilize a baking sheet. Place the empty crust on the baking sheet, then fill it. This ensures that the custard filled pie will be easier to move in and out of the oven without spilling.
  • What’s the difference between buttermilk pie and chess pie? They’re very much alike. What sets Chess pie apart is that it traditionally includes cornmeal as thickener to stabilize the filling. Cornmeal not only adds to its pretty yellow hue, but makes it slightly more dense in texture. Both are baked in a buttery pastry crust and feature a sweet and tangy flavor with buttermilk pie taking the lead. Buttermilk pie also traditionally features vanilla and lemon juice or lemon zest for brightness.
  • Please note, the center of the custard filling will puff up while baking, but as the pie cools, it will settle. This is normal and not an indication that something went wrong.
  • It’s important to thoroughly chill the pie before attempting to cut it. Use a sharp knife and wipe it between each cut for a clean slice of pie.
  • Whipped cream is optional, but this buttermilk pie provides the perfect foundation for a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries.
  • Buttermilk pie can be made up to two days in advance and kept well chilled until serving.
baked Southern Buttermilk Pie

More Buttermilk Pie Recipes to Make

The twang that buttermilk lends not only to this  buttermilk pie recipe is evident in other baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, muffins and cornbread securing its infinite place in Southern kitchens. More Southern pie recipes to try:

easy Southern Buttermilk Pie recipe

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Helpful Kitchen Items: 

Southern Buttermilk Pie

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Cooling time3 hours
Course: Dessert, Pie
Cuisine: American
Keyword: southern-buttermilk-pie
Servings: 10 pieces
Calories: 344kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust, frozen or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg plus additional for the top
  • 1 cup buttermilk (not fat free) room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter (salted or unsalted) melted
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • whipped cream for serving, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg using a whisk.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until fully combined. Pour evenly into the pie shell. Sprinkle the top lightly with additional nutmeg, if desired.
  • Carefully place into the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes OR until the center is set when gently shaken. Check at 30 minute and cover the edges to prevent overbrowning.
  • Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Store chilled.

Notes

See how to make your own buttermilk in suggested Baking Ingredient substitutions here

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this pie for my church family, and they loved it. Super easy recipe. I will make this again soon. Thanks

    1. 5 stars
      This tastes great. I’ve made buttermilk pie several times but I lost my recipe and this one seemed close. The top of mine did not get golden brown like pictured or like mine has in the past and I’m wondering why. I had to use low-fat buttermilk not nonfat but I can’t imagine that’s the reason.

      1. If you are able to find full fat buttermilk, it’s ideal in this recipe and it does make a difference. If you wanted the top to be more brown all you needed to do is cover the crust and broil it for a few minutes at the end of baking.

  2. 5 stars
    Omgosh! I’m eating a piece as I write this; yum. This pie is easy to make and absolutely delicious. The next time I make it, and there will be a next time, I’ll cut the sugar down by at least 1/4 cup. I used fresh ground nutmeg and I was going to use fresh vanilla paste but I got lazy. Thanks for this southern delicious recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I just found this recipe again! So happy!I made it waaaaay back in January to use up leftover buttermilk. It is absolutely delicious! We love the layers of flavor 2ith the sweetness, tangy buttermilk, zesty lemon. Making again for family tomorrow. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this to use up some buttermilk. My husband loved it so much I am making it again tomorrow. Loved the hint of lemon. Excellent recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Can’t wait to dig in!!! Wish I could post the picture of the finished product.

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