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Monday, December 7, 2009

Buttermilk Pie

This is a dessert that we learned how to make out of sheer frugality. A local restaurant used to have a lovely dessert parlor that served cake, pie, ice cream, etc. It was a great but somewhat expensive place to stop after an evening out. We loved their buttermilk pie the first time we tried it; we liked it enough that we went back several times. After a few visits, Bob calculated how many complete pies we could make for the price of one store-bought slice. We searched the internet and found many, many recipes. We combined, experimented, modified and came up with this as our final version.

I love buttermilk as a beverage, but if you aren't a fan, don't shy away from this pie. It has a mild, custardy taste. It's another recipe that's extremely easy to make, but dresses up well for a party or guests. We prefer it warm, but it can easily be heated in the microwave for a few seconds if your schedule doesn't work out to take it out of the oven just before serving. Then top it with whipped cream and the berries of your choice. Thaw the berries ahead of time so that there's a little juice to drip over the cream.

Buttermilk Pie

1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch single crust pie (for my viewpoint on the make vs. buy decision on pie crusts, see here.)
1 ¼ cups white sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 c. buttermilk
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ c. butter

Mix sugar and flour. Add buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla. Melt the butter over low heat. Add to buttermilk mixture and mix well. Pour into pie crust and bake at 360 degrees for 80-90 minutes or until brown on top. I know that 80 to 90 minutes sounds like a very long time to cook. Even then, it will probably still jiggle when you take it out. But it will settle into a solid pie. Leave it in until the top starts to brown a little. Then take it out and let it rest awhile before serving.

Also, I've never tried this with soured milk (milk with vinegar or lemon juice added). I've substituted that combination for other recipes that call for buttermilk, but I've always used the real thing for this recipe.

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