Megan : Buttermilk Pie

Mary Dougherty

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while Mary is on maternity leave, this guest post is brought to you by Megan!

Living in the South is nothing new to me. I’ve done time in L.A. (lower Alabama), Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia (which may or may not be truly Southern, depending on who you talk to).

I was thrilled when Tommy and I settled on Birmingham because there is something so wonderful about the culture. And when I say culture, you guessed it, I mean food. The shrimp, the grits, the fried chicken, the dumplings, the hushpuppies, you name, I love it.

But there is something even more special about a Southern dessert. Give me a coconut cake, praline, or pecan pie any day and I’ll only ask for more.

Pie is something that seems to come and go and feels like something only grandmas still make completely from scratch. That’s not the case down here and I’m thankful for it. I knew I enjoyed baking the Christmas Santa brought me an Easy Bake Oven, but I truly fell in love with it the first time I rolled out my own pie crust for a cherry pie. I’ve never looked back and have been using a rolling pin ever since.

Pie can be frightening, but it shouldn’t. Who cares if your crust isn’t beautiful, that takes practice. All that matters is it’s made with lots of real butter and love.

So I present to you a simple, truly Southern pie recipe, from crust to finish.

Buttermilk Pie

This pie is a cinch. The filling takes hardly any steps and the crust comes together quickly in the food processor. If it sounds crazy to you, I promise it’s only crazy because it’s so good. Pile on any berry you fancy and you’ve got a dessert that will surely impress and surprise.

for the pie crust

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2oz) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
7 TBSP (3 1/2 oz) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5 TBSP (3 oz) cold water

Stir together the flour, salt, and sugar. Dump into a food processor. Lay the chunks of butter over the flour mixture. Pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add your water and pulse just until it comes together. Form into a disk and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

for the filling

1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (8 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 TBSP all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Roll out your pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Line the pan with the dough and tuck the edges in as you crimp. Using a fork, poke little holes in the dough. Place the pie shell in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line the chilled pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough starts to look dry. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 5 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350F.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the eggs, 1/3 at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and pour the filling into the pie shell. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the custard is set, about 15 more minutes.

Let it cool completely. Serve the pie with your favorite berry and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

After earning a degree in political science Megan decided to pursue her dreams and become a pastry chef.  She and Tommy moved to Chicago shortly after their wedding where she enrolled in pastry school at Kendall College. Upon completion they settled in the south where Megan works in the test kitchens at Southern Progress Corporation. See Megan + Tommy’s wedding here and visit Megan on tumblr to follow her adventures!

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