So my search for the next recipe in the buttermilk series, led me on a goose chase. Not necessarily a “wild” goose chase, but a goose chase non-the-less. Basically it resulted in my searching of buttermilk in the index of my reference cookbooks. Buttermilk chicken, buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk with red tomatoes….Curious, buttermilk pie.
I had never heard of buttermilk pie. So I did some research. Buttermilk pie is a “custard like pie” traditionally made with eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. It originated in the United Kingdom, but now is predominately a southern pie. I found the recipe in “The Martha Stewart Cookbook”. It intrigued me from the start. Would it taste like buttermilk? What would the consistency look like and feel like? I had some buttermilk to use up after all and this recipe was it’s starring role.
I can tell some of you are saying “Yeah right Sara, buttermilk tastes terrible this pie is not the pie for me”. I know, I thought the same thing, but it makes a really great pie! My mother can’t stand pie, but she loved this! It has a very light lemon flavor and it is not too sweet. Ok, just look how pretty it is!!!!!
The first thing I had to do, was make a crust. Martha Stewart’s cookbook recommended a Pate Brisee’ crust. It is a simple crust that requires only a few ingredients and a some time to chill in the refrigerator. I made crust in 10 minutes in the bowl of my food processor. Step one done. Step two is to make the filling and that wasn’t very hard either. All you need to do is mix the rest of ingredients together and pour it into your prepared pie crust and bake. You could use a purchased pie crust if you wanted too. I challenge you to make this from scratch. It isn’t that hard and the reward you will get when you see the pie will amaze you.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “The Buttermilk Effect” (pretend you heard my voice booming in your head),when we will learn about buttermilk and what it does to your meat.
Buttermilk Pie and Pate Brisee’ pie crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cups ice water
1 Put the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.
2. Add the pieces of butter and process for approximately 10 minutes or just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (To mix by hand, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse meal).
3. Add ice water, drop by drop, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more water.
4. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc and refrigerate for an hour or until ready to use.
That’s the crust.
Prepare the crust before you make the filling. Get the dough out and let it sit on the counter until it is workable. This recipe will make two pie crusts. Use only half of the crust for the bottom and roll out the rest to make patterns. I made hearts. Be sure to refrigerate after each use and until you are ready to fill it.
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup buttermilk
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (optional)
1. Roll out half the pastry and line an 8 1/2-or 9-inch pie plate. Wrap it in plastic and chill it well. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut shapes. Place on a plate and wrap in plastic. Chill these as well.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Affix the the shapes you cut out onto the edge of the pie dough. Using a pastry brush or your finger, dab water on the back of your shapes. Brush the beaten egg over the crust and put back in the refrigerator.
4. Combine the sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl.
5. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
6. Stir in the butter and the buttermilk.
7. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, vanilla, and nutmeg and pour into the pie shell.
8. Place the pie in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
9. Lower the degrees of the oven to 350 and continue to bake for another 40 minutes, until the filling is set.
10. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack and serve at room temperature. Don’t be tempted to cut into the pie until it is room temperature. The crust will be soggy and a the filling will be watery.