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Monday, November 11, 2013

Buttermilk Pie

Three years, three and a half years to be exact. It took me that long to try this pie and I have to question my sanity for waiting so long. If you like buttermilk, don't be like me and wait until you have a carton of buttermilk that is close to going bad before making this pie. You see, in addition to eating less meat, I'm also obsessing about not wasting food. So when I accidentally bought way too much buttermilk after making a red velvet cake for a friends birthday, I furiously starting searching for recipes to use the remaining three cups from the quart (yes, I do have another recipe that I made with the remaining two cups after making this pie). Then I remembered a recipe I had bookmarked over three years ago, it came after a visit to the Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. I had stopped in one morning for breakfast when a woman at the table next to me ordered a slice of buttermilk pie for breakfast. Her friends teased her a bit, enough to draw the attention of the neighboring tables. When her pie arrived I think we were all secretly wondering why we didn't order pie for breakfast. I chuckled when the waiter took my plate away and asked if I wanted any dessert after my breakfast. I thought he was just joking because of the woman who ordered the pie. The next morning when I went back for breakfast, another waiter asked the same thing at the end of my meal. Then I noticed other tables being asked the same thing at the end of their breakfast and some were indeed ordering dessert after breakfast. I'll tell you I was tempted, but pie after biscuits and gravy is just a bit too much for me. After I left Charleston I couldn't stop thinking about that buttermilk pie. I had never heard of it before and was curious what it would taste like. When I returned home I bookmarked the Hominy Grill site, at the time they had their recipe for buttermilk pie on the site. I've looked at it a few times, but just never got around to making it. Maybe that's a good thing. This pie is way too easy to make for it to be this good. The recipe is no longer on the Hominy Grill website because they have now published their own cookbook. I can see why if all the recipes are as good as this one. With a little research I found that the recipe for buttermilk pie in The New York Times Cookbook is actually the Hominy Grill recipe. Since I never actually had the pie at Hominy Grill I can't tell you how close it is to the original, but I can tell you it is everything I imagined it would be. Smooth, custardy, tangy buttermilk pie, what are you waiting for?
Buttermilk Pie
inspired by Hominy Grill and adapted from The Essential New York Times Cook Book

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Pre-baked (light brown) 8 inch pie crust, cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the egg yolks and beat until combined. Blend in the flour, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, mix until well blended.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold about 1/4 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the egg whites, then fold the egg whites into the remaining buttermilk mixture until just combined. The mixture will be lumpy.
Pour the filling into the baked pie shell. Bake until the filling is lightly brown and only slightly jiggles; 40 to 45 minutes. If the edges of the crust start to get too dark before the filling is done, cover the edges of the crust with foil. Place on a rack and let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or let chill in fridge for 2 hours to serve chilled. Refrigerate any leftovers.

1 comment:

  1. Looks wonderful! I made a buttermilk pie after a visit to North Carolina a couple of years ago, what a revelation. I'm a fellow buttermilk lover!


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