My wife makes fun of me because every now and then I get a wild hair to try something new and just have to make it. Usually I see something on TV or read about it on some blog somewhere and am obsessed with it until I make it and get it out of my system. I know that most of what I do here has something to do with wild game but there are some things that just look to good not to try. So when I saw buttermilk pie I was instantly hooked and have been thinking about it for about two weeks now. I finally got some free time and here it is, a surprisingly easy and magnificent custard like pie that I will be making over and over this summer.
I was watching The Mind of a Chef with Sean Brock and they were discussing southern favorites. I had never heard of a buttermilk pie but apparently they are pretty common in the south. A little bit of research showed me that pies like this are usually made when there isn't any fresh fruit to make pies out of. This episode also inspired me to try and make my own pie crust. I never make pie crusts, I always buy them frozen and ready to go. Sadly I have been under the misconception that the store bought ones are just as good and that homemade crust is to difficult. I was wrong.
Pie crust is surprisingly easy to make. I remember making them in the past and the not being this simple so I gave up on them all together. When I sat down to make this buttermilk pie I decided to give it a try again using a new technique and recipe for pie crust. It was so simple and turned out so amazing that I will probably never buy another crust. For my pie crust it is just 2 cups of flour, 12 tablespoons of cold butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Stir together the flour, salt and sugar then cut the butter into small chunks. Using your hands just pinch the butter into the flour and continue working the flour and butter until all the large chunks of butter are broken up and the flour looks sandy. When you grab a handful and squeeze it, it should hold together. work the mixture into a ball and add a little water until everything is incorporated and the pie dough is one smooth ball. Refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes before using. That's it, it really is that simple.
The rest of the pie is just as simple you just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour into you pie crust. After the pie bakes you end up with a beautiful custard like pie that despite being made with buttermilk, eggs and butter is light and refreshing. Amazed at how good the pie was and my wife took back her ridicule as well after tasting it. If you're in the mood for a real treat give it a try.
This is the recipe from Lisa Donavan the pastry Chef at Husk
1 9 inch pie crust
3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 stick melted butter
scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean
1/2 cup flour
juice and zest from half a lemon
Whisk together all the ingredients leaving the buttermilk for last. then pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the center of the pie is set. Let the pie cool and then enjoy.