Dish of the Week: Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk brings a great tang to this classic sweet pie.
Buttermilk brings a great tang to this classic sweet pie.
Photo by Ralph Daily

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're sharing a sweet Southern classic: buttermilk pie.

Buttermilk pie is a custard pie made with, you guessed it buttermilk. Though it's known as a dessert popular in the Southern United States, its origins are likely from the U.K.

The dessert is often confused with chess pie; though chess pie contains cornmeal and occasionally corn syrup, where buttermilk pie does not. Instead, buttermilk pie is made simply with buttermilk, sugar, butter, eggs and flour. Variations include the addition of vanilla extract, lemon zest, fruit, or even chocolate.

The mixture is poured into a traditional pie crust; then baked until it sets and gets a crisp, caramelized top. The result is a rich, slightly tangy, and ultra creamy pie that is melts in your mouth with each bite.

This recipe, from Southern Living, will taste just like the old-fashioned pies your granny used to make. Feel free to use a store-bought pie crust or make your own.

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients For the pastry crust: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon table salt 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed 3 tablespoons cold shortening, cubed 4 to 5 tbsp. ice water

For the pie filling: 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 large eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 tablespoon loosely packed lemon zest 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional: fresh whipped cream, fresh berries, fresh mint


For the pastry crust: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined. Add butter and shortening, and pulse 8 to 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tbsp. ice water over mixture; pulse 4 or 5 times or until dough clumps together, adding up to 1 tbsp. ice water, 1 tsp. at a time, if necessary. Gently shape dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/8 inch thick) on a floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; crimp edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Line pastry with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake 8 to 10 more minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

For the pie filling: Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla extract, stirring until well combined. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until almost set, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with fresh whipped cream, berries, and/or mint if desired.

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