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.
Southern Buttermilk Pie
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.
Buttermilk Pie Making Tips
A few tips for pie making success:
- Placing the empty pie shell on a baking sheet ensures that the custard filled pie will be easier to move in and out of the oven.
- This is not the time to use nonfat buttermilk. Whole buttermilk yields the best results but, low fat will work in a pinch.
- 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.
- Make sure you chill the pie thoroughly before attempting to cut. Use a sharp knife for a clean slice of pie.
- The center of the custard filling will puff while baking but, as the pie cools, it settles. This is normal and not an indication that something went wrong.
- Whipped cream is completely optional but, this pie goes particularly well with fresh berries and cream.
- Buttermilk pie can be made a couple of days in advance and chilled until serving.
Buttermilk is a Classic Ingredient in Many Southern Dishes
The twang that buttermilk lends not only to this buttermilk pie, but, also to baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, muffins, cornbread and finger licking good crispy buttermilk fried chicken secures its infinite place in Southern kitchens. To make your own buttermilk see my Baking Ingredient substitutions list here. For a flavor twist, you may also like to 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 Tbsp all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg plus additional for the top
- 1 cup buttermilk (not fat free)
- ½ cup butter (salted or unsalted) melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp 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.