July 21, 2024

Pie ready to serve. Nana’s Kitchen photo.

Nana’s Kitchen: Buttermilk Pie

Greetings, home cooks, welcome to Nana’s Kitchen,

I have been busy with various things. Spring cleaning the kitchen is one. Things can really get pushed to the back of a shelf and forgotten. Can be surprising. Now there is space to put more stuff. Oh, well.

The other thing that needs a review is the book shelves. Recipe books and a lot of history and fiction books need cleared or read. (Or in some cases re-read). Anyway, I came across an older cookbook with a recipe for buttermilk pie. I had some buttermilk in the refrigerator and thought I would use it. Thus the buttermilk pie.

The buttermilk we get at the grocery store today is cultured buttermilk. Made by adding lactic acid bacteria to regular milk. Traditionally buttermilk is the liquid leftover after churning butter. Buttermilk is a thick liquid with a sour taste. You can drink it, bake with it, or use in various other cooking recipes. I remember my mother used to drink it. She liked it with onion and butter sandwiches. I never got the hang of that.

Not everyone keeps buttermilk on hand. There are tricks to making buttermilk out of some common ingredients around the kitchen. Thus saving a trip to the store. Presented here are a few of many methods. 

Method #1 – to make one cup of buttermilk add one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a measuring cup and add milk to the one cup line. Gently stir to combine. Skim, low fat, or whole milk can be used.

Method #2 – lemon juice is an acid like vinegar and and can be used for the transformation. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to to a liquid measuring cup and add milk to the one cup line. Stir to combine. Fresh squeezed lemon juice works best. The result is one cup of buttermilk substitute. 

Method #3 – a substitute can be made by combining 3/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup water. Whisk till smooth. This equals one cup of buttermilk substitute. Easy.

Method # 4 – whisk 6 ounces of plain yogurt with 1/4 cup water or milk. Whisk till smooth. This is one cup of buttermilk substitute.

Buttermilk Pie

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or oleo
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
4 tablespoons flour
1 pint buttermilk (2 cups)
2 ounces lemon juice
One unbaked pie shell

Mix together sugar, butter, egg yolks, flour, buttermilk and lemon juice. Add beaten egg whites last.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and serve.

I think the cooking time is off. Following the instructions as given for cooking, the filling was definitely not done after 30 minutes. Ended up cooking for 15 more minutes. I think cooking at 350 degrees for 30 minutes would have been better. Will try this the next time. 
The filling is a little jiggly in the center when removed from the oven. 
You can use a homemade or store bought pie shell. A deep dish pie shell would work best.
I used a standard pie shell and there was pie filling leftover. Not wanting to waste the filling it got cooked over moderate heat in a sauce pan on the stove. Stirring continually until hot and bubbly. Poured it into a dish. Viola! Pudding. 
Tasted the pie after it was cooled and slightly warm. Had a nice lemony slightly tangy flavor with a fluffy texture. 
The next day, after being in the refrigerator, the flavor was milder and lest pronounced but pleasant and a little more custard like. 
I used a hand mixer to combine the ingredients but a wire whisk could be used. 

Enjoy your creations.
Have a blessed Sunday.