Buttermilk Pie is an old fashioned Southern favorite. A creamy, sweet, slightly tangy buttermilk custard pie with a flaky crust perfect for the holidays.
This Buttermilk Pie recipe has a creamy custard-like filling with a golden brown caramelized top, like a much easier creme brûlée! Unlike a Cheesecake or creme brûlée, there is no need for a water bath to get a perfectly baked custard filling without cracks.
Buttermilk Pie is a simple, quick old fashioned pie made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Eggs, sugar, butter, flour, vanilla, and buttermilk come together in minutes to make an elegant pie perfect for holidays like Christmas or Easter.
With so few ingredients, the secret of this Buttermilk Pie recipe comes down to a gentle hand when adding the buttermilk, you don’t want to over beat the custard. Adding flour gives the Buttermilk Pie structure so that it doesn’t fall (or crack) during baking. It’s an easy custard pie perfect for beginners!
Buttermilk Pie is delicious on it’s own but will taste even better with a bit of Whipped Cream and a fresh fruit sauce like Strawberry Topping. If you want a decadent dessert, try this pie with Salted Caramel Sauce drizzled on top.
Custard-like pies like this Buttermilk Pie recipe can be frozen, but you will want to take a few extra steps. The biggest trouble is that custard can collect moisture that will freeze and release as water into your thawed pie. Follow some simple tips at the bottom of the post on how to freeze your Buttermilk Pie with no worries.
Tips for making Buttermilk Pie
- Don’t add the buttermilk until all the dry ingredients are creamed with the butter and sugar. Adding too soon could cause the pie filling to separate.
- If your Buttermilk pie is runny, it is probably under baked or has not had enough time to set. Cool the pie at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
- The flour in this Buttermilk Pie is the key to keeping the structure so don’t skip it. If you are gluten free, replace with almond or coconut flour.
- To keep your crust from burning, make a ring of tinfoil before baking and place over crust. You can also tent foil over your pie halfway through baking.
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HOW TO MAKE BUTTERMILK PIE
- Mix: Be careful not to overbeat the eggs or the pie may come out too dense.
- Bake: If the pie or crust start to burn, loosely tent the pie with tin foil for the remainder of the cook time so the pie doesn’t get hit with direct heat.
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VARIATIONS ON BUTTERMILK PIE
- Pecans: Add a ring of toasted pecans around the outer edge of your pie halfway through baking, so they don’t sink into the custard.
- Crust: Instead of a traditional pie crust, try a Graham Cracker Crust and replace the graham crackers with vanilla wafers.
- Bourbon: To make a Bourbon Buttermilk Pie, add 2 tablespoons bourbon (or whiskey) when you add the vanilla extract.
- Spices: Replace the nutmeg with cinnamon, allspice, or ground clove, or just add those spices in a small amount (no more than ¼ teaspoon each) to give your pie more spiced flavors.
- Tarts: Make mini Southern Buttermilk Pies by lining the cups of a muffin tin with 2 pie crusts cut into rounds. Pressing dough halfway up the sides of each cup. Divide your pie filling evenly into crusts and bake for 20-25 minutes.
FAQs FOR BUTTERMILK PIE
- What’s the difference between Buttermilk Pie and Chess Pie? Chess Pie is another classic Southern custard pie. It is made with vinegar and milk instead of buttermilk and has cornmeal added.
- What if I don’t have buttermilk? An easy buttermilk substitute is to replace 1 tablespoon of 1 cup of whole milk with vinegar (so the vinegar and milk mix makes 1 full cup).
- Is Buttermilk Pie eaten warm or cold? Buttermilk Pie tastes great slightly warm, at just about room temperature. But it also tastes delicious chilled, more like a creme brûlée with that cold custard and crispy sugar topping. So really, it tastes good no matter how you eat it!
Tips To Freeze Buttermilk Pie
- To keep your pie from weeping when thawed, it’s important that the custard is not over baked and cooled completely before freezing. Pop in the refrigerator for an hour or two for best results.
- You can freeze unbaked custard filling and pie crust separately. Thaw custard and pour filling into frozen crust and bake as usual.
- Always thaw pie (or unbaked custard) in the refrigerator overnight, don’t try to rush it by thawing at room temperature.
- Reheat a thawed pie at low temperature, 300-325 degrees, until just warm to keep custard from getting runny.
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HOW TO STORE BUTTERMILK PIE
- Serve: Allow to set for 2 hours at room temperature, then serve within an hour before storing in the refrigerator.
- Store: Cover cooled pie tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Buttermilk Pie can be frozen for up to 3 months, either baked or prepared separately. See freezing guide above for more details.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line your pie plate with the pie crust.
- Combine the eggs, sugar and flour in a stand mixer on medium speed.
- Add in the butter and cream until smooth.
- Reduce stand mixer to low speed and add in the buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and nutmeg until just combined.
- Pour into pie plate.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes (tent lightly with foil if the top is browning too soon, don't remove early from oven).