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.
Best 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. Lemon juice and vanilla add a hint of flavor to the custard, and this pie is unapologetically sweet.
How to Make Southern Buttermilk Pie
Buttermilk Pie making tips:
- 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 ¼ 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.
Other Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipes to Add to the Menu
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:
- Lemon Buttermilk Pie
- Snickerdoodle Buttermilk Pie
- Pineapple Buttermilk Pie
- Autumn Spiced Buttermilk Pie
- For a flavor twist, try this Chocolate Caramel Buttermilk Pie from Pastry Chef Online.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Southern Buttermilk Pie
- 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust, frozen or homemade
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg plus additional for the top
- 1 cup buttermilk (not fat free)
- ½ cup butter (salted or unsalted) melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- whipped cream for serving, optional
- 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.