Buttermilk Pie: the old-fashioned Southern dessert to make these holidays

Total time: 80 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Buttermilk pie is a classic Southern dessert recipe perfect for celebrating holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. With a thick, creamy filling, it's a custard-base pie that is sweet yet tangy in flavor. This old-fashioned dessert dates back to the Depression during World War II, when Southern women made do with simple ingredients.

Buttermilk pie is a cinch to make, you just need to mix sugar, buttermilk, butter, eggs, flour, lemon and vanilla extract, then pour the mixture over a pie crust and bake. You can throw together a gorgeous buttermilk pie in no time flat, and it's a crowd-pleasing hit you can enjoy with family, no matter what the weather's like outside. Serve it with a cup of coffee or tea, you won't regret it.

Buttermilk Pie vs. Chess Pie

Chess pie is another traditional Southern dessert that looks very similar to buttermilk pie. However, the two taste quite different. While buttermilk pie is tangy and lightly sweet, chess pie is rich and indulgent. Its filling is made from eggs, sugar, butter, and cornmeal, which gives chess pie its distinctive color and helps thicken up the filling. On the other hand, the splash of lemon juice and the natural sour flavor of buttermilk give the buttermilk pie a brighter, tangier taste.

What does Buttermilk Pie taste like?

If you are wondering what a buttermilk pie tastes like, we have the answer for you. This old-fashioned pie combines sweet and sour flavors to perfection. On the other hand, the flaky, buttery crust balances well the delicious, creamy filling that almost resembles a crème brulée.

How to Make Buttermilk Pie 

Making buttermilk pie is easier than you might think. As first step make the filling. In a large bowl, add the eggs, flour, butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. Combine well until smooth, then pour it into the pie crust.

Bake the buttermilk pie at 350°F for about 40-45 minutes. If the crust begins to darken, wrap tin foil over the top. You will know your pie is done when the filling is set and a bit wiggle in the middle. If it's still liquid, cook it longer. Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool for at least one hour before serving.


Tips for making Souther Buttermilk Pie

Make sure not to cut the pie when it's still hot as it continues cooking even after you removed from the oven.

If your buttermilk pie filling is still liquid, it means you need to cook it for extra minutes.

Buttermilk pie is a fantastic dessert for all occasions. Serve it cold straight out of the fridge or lightly warmed up.

Adding garnishes like nuts, fresh fruit, or a dash of fruit syrup or liqueur is perfect when you'd like to impress friends and family.

How to Store Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pies should be stored in the fridge once they're cool. The pie will stay fresh for about a week.

Can you freeze Buttermilk Pie?

The answer is yes! The best option is to make the filling and bake the pie crust, then freeze each separately. It will last about 3 months in the freezer, but will taste better the sooner you eat it. When it's time to serve the pie, thaw the crust on the counter and the filling in the fridge. Whisk the filling, then pour it into the pie crust. Serve warm or cold.

If you've frozen the entire cooked pie, let it thaw overnight in the fridge before you plan to serve it.

pie crust, unbaked
Granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups
All-purpose flour
2 tbsp
unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup
1 cup
Vanilla Extract
1 tsp
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp
lemon zest, grated
1 tbsp
a pinch


Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest.

Once the mixture is thoroughly combined and smooth, pour it into the pie crust.

Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove from oven.

Allow to cool for about one hour before cutting. Slice, serve and enjoy!

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