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Buttermilk pie is a tangy custard pie that’s easy to make. It’s perfect for holiday celebrations, or any time you want pie!
I’ve been on a mission to make more kinds of pies, especially the classics.
Buttermilk pie is a luscious, lemony pie that is SO easy to make. Just whisk up a few ingredients and you’re ready!
This custard pie is perfect for when you want a home-baked dessert, but don’t want to fuss with prepping fruit or making a double crust.
Give it a try!
Ingredients for buttermilk pie
Pie crust – You need one single pie crust to fit a standard 9-inch pie plate. You can make your own or use store bought.
Sugar – Use granulated sugar for this recipe.
Lemon – You will use both the lemon zest and lemon juice in this recipe.
I recommend zesting the lemon, then juicing the lemon into a bowl to measure the right amount of juice. Don’t forget to remove the seeds!
Flour – A bit of flour is used to thicken the custard.
Salt – Just a pinch! I recommend fine sea salt.
Eggs – Use standard large eggs.
Buttermilk – You can make your own buttermilk substitute for this recipe using milk and lemon juice, but it’s so much better with real buttermilk!
Butter – I use unsalted butter in this recipe. It needs to be melted and cooled to room temperature. Cooling prevents the butter from curdling the egg and buttermilk when adding it.
Vanilla – Use pure vanilla extract!
Nutmeg – This is optional, but I add a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top of the pie before serving.
How to make this recipe
First, you need to parbake the pie crust. This is known as blind baking. It ensures the crust is fully cooked in custard-based pies.
Roll out a chilled pie crust to fit your pie plate, crimping edges as desired. Place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Once the crust is chilled, remove it from the freezer and line with foil or parchment paper. I like using foil because it can form to the pie.
Add dry beans, pie weights, or sugar on top of the foil. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet.
Bake crust for 18 minutes. Carefully remove foil and beans/weights and let crust cool while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest.
Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar. This helps unlock the lemon flavor, evenly distribute the zest, and make the whole dish more aromatic.
Whisk in the flour and salt.
Whisk in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and golden in color.
Add the buttermilk, melted and cooled butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk until blended.
Carefully pour the filling into the pie crust. If you like, you can place a pie shield around the top to prevent the crust edges from browning too much.
Slide the baking sheet carefully into the oven, making sure to not spill any filling.
Bake the pie for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. The pie is done when the outside is set and the center is just barely jiggly, like a pumpkin pie.
Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving.
I prefer to make this pie a day ahead of serving, so it can chill in the refrigerator after cooling.
Just before serving, sprinkle on nutmeg. You can also top with dollops of whipped cream or serve with vanilla ice cream.
I recommend storing buttermilk pie in the refrigerator. This will help keep the custard set, and buttermilk pie is best served chilled.
Cover the pie with a pieces of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
You can also freeze the pie after baking.
If you want to freeze the pie, bake it in a disposable pie dish, so your pie plate is not stuck in the freezer!
Let the pie cool completely, then wrap it well with plastic wrap. Wrap again with aluminum foil.
Label the pie and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator.
Why is my pie weeping?
Custard pies like buttermilk can “weep,” or shed liquid, as it sits in the refrigerator and forms condensation.
This can happen if your pie is still warm when you put it in the refrigerator. Try to cool the pie completely before transferring it to chill.
Note that some pie plates will take longer to cool, such as cast iron.
The liquid can simply be wiped away; it is not harmful to you or the pie.
What’s the difference between buttermilk pie and chess pie?
While they are similar, traditional chess pie uses cornmeal instead of flour as a thickening binder.
Buttermilk pie also uses vanilla and lemon for flavoring.
Is buttermilk pie supposed to be runny?
Your buttermilk pie should be set like a pumpkin pie or shoofly pie, though it can be slightly less firm.
When removing from the oven, the pie should be set and just barely jiggly in the middle.
The pie will set more as it cools, so it’s very important to not serve the pie until it is completely cooled.
If you’re looking for a new-to-you pie, give this classic Southern buttermilk pie a try!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 1 pie crust
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Nutmeg, for dusting, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Roll out your pie crust and fit it to the pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Remove foil and let cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon zest, rubbing it with your fingers to disperse the lemon oils. Whisk in flour and salt.
- Add eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour in buttermilk, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla, and whisk again until completely blended.
- Pour filling into crust. If desired, add a pie shield to prevent the edges from over-browning.
- Carefully slide the pie, on the baking sheet, into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown. The edges should be set with the center just barely jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely to set. The pie will deflate slightly as it cools.
- Before serving, sprinkle on grated or ground nutmeg. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…