Buttermilk Pie is a classic Southern recipe that is wildly easy and can be whipped up from ingredients (flour, butter, sugar, eggs) that you probably have on hand right this minute. You will find recipes that have you using an electric mixer and adding ingredients in this order or that order. And you can do that if you want, but seriously, the pie is just as good if you channel your inner 7-year old and just dump the ingredients in a bowl, whisk them together and pour them into a prepared pie crust.
I am including a great recipe for pastry crust. Once again, easy peasy- flour, sugar, butter, water. A food processor will cut the butter into the flour mixture faster, but if you don't want to mess with that, you can use your hands. Or, use a ready-made refrigerated crust. In the summer I like to serve the pie chilled with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee. Fork optional.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup ice water
In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sugar. Add water 1 Tbsp. at a time, mixing until the mixture will form a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To prepare the pie crust for the Buttermilk Pie, the crust must be pre-baked. Roll out the dough about 1/8" thick to about a 12" circle. Press the dough evenly around the inside of a 9" pie plate and crimp the edges of the dough. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Line pastry with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake 8-10 more minutes or until the crust is very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before filling, about 30 minutes.
For the filling whisk together:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk OR sour milk (see below to make sour milk)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (if you have it, if not, don't worry about it)
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
How to make 1 cup of sour milk: Add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to a glass measuring cup and add milk to make 1 cup. Let this stand for 5 minutes before adding to a recipe.
Pour into a prepared pie shell, and bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until almost set, shielding the edges with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. Cool one hour before eating. If you absolutely must get schmancy, you can add 1/2 c. of chopped pecans to the top before baking, or swirl 1/4 cup of good berry jam through the filling before baking, or serve the pie with fresh berries on the side and a light, last minute dusting of confectioners sugar.
Now go outside and play!
For further reading, here are three good books from my shelf. Yum:
Image: Martha Stewart.com