Buttermilk Pie, or How I Ruined the May Issue of Southern Living

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Don't judge a recipe by its title!  Buttermilk pie is a wonderful, classic Southern treat.  This past weekend was of course Mother's Day, and Drew and I are both fortunate enough to still have our mothers, and relatively close by.  For his mom, we decided to cook dinner and I wanted to make a dessert I thought she'd enjoy.  I chose this pie from the current issue of Southern Living because it sounded perfect- light, lemony, and like spring in a pie.  

We all enjoyed it.  I want more.

How did I ruin this issue of Southern Living, you ask?  Well, I had the magazine on the counter, opened to the recipe page, and of course spilled my just-melted butter over it.  Fail!  Fortunately, the pie was worth the sacrifice, and my mom gave me her copy of the magazine as a replacement.  

The magazine, after I spilled the butter and tried to clean it up.  Wah wah.
Hi, I'm Lauren and I'm a magazine hoarder.  I have magazines dating back a few years, and have kept most of the Southern Livings, Bon Appetits, Gourmets, Everyday Foods, and even Better Homes and Gardens that I've received.  One day it will get ridiculous.  Fortunately I haven't been a collector long enough for it to be ridiculous yet.

So back to the pie.  It's an older recipe that seems to have resurfaced from the past to remind us of its timeless taste and worthiness in your recipe collection.  While recipes vary, this one is dense and lemony, and is great served with strawberries and whipped cream.  Buttermilk is a key ingredient, likely aiding in the development of the texture and even taste, but you won't taste the buttermilk.  It's easy to mix together, and doesn't even require a mixer.  It tastes like spring in a pie.  

The only thing I had trouble with is that I couldn't be sure when it was completely baked.  I followed the baking directions and the magazine picture as a guide, but this is a pie that (I don't think) can't be dried out if slightly overbaked.  It's not this sickly sweet because of the lemon, but the texture reminded me of what it would feel like if you took the pecans out of a pecan pie and just had the filling.  Either way, it's a good pie.  

Buttermilk Pie
from Southern Living via myrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon loosely packed lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 9 inch pie shell, par-baked according to recipe or package directions
Garnishes: fresh berries, whipped cream, fresh mint

Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 2 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and next 5 ingredients into flour mixture; pour into Perfect Pastry Crust.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until almost set, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool 1 hour.


  • I think it took 2 lemons' worth of zest and 1-2 lemons' worth of juice to get what I needed.  Note that this will vary depending on lemon size and juiciness.
  • You can choose to make your own crust or buy one.  It needs just a little par-baking.
  • The aluminum foil cover is important!  It'll help keep your crust from getting too brown after it's been in the oven a while.  I made mine by using strips of aluminum foil.  
  • We just stored leftovers on the counter and not in the fridge.  We're still alive, days later.

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