My brain has been in such a fog the last couple of weeks. I took a week off from work to spend some much needed quality time; with friends and family. It was difficult to even think of a Thanksgiving recipe for this blog. I’m sure my editor had given up hope that I would even write one. As I sat trying to think of a new recipe, my thoughts kept wandering to my mom’s Candied Yams and to Mississippi (my native state). I realized what I needed was to get back to my roots. I called my mom to ask her opinion about some traditional southern desserts. You’re never too old to need your momma, right? Of course she had the perfect answer right away, my Grandma’s Buttermilk Pie. Why didn’t I think of that! I even had my grandma’s recipe. It’s buttery, flaky, creamy, and SO bad for you — perfect soul food.
You can make this recipe as simple or as difficult as you like. There is no shame in buying a pre-made pie crust (get the deep dish, in the disposable pan). I was adventurous and decided to make everything from scratch (including the butter and buttermilk); the kids helped and loved it!
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and frozen
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
9 inch pie pan
Pulse the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and cinnamon together in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Slowly, add 1 Tbsp of ice water at a time (the amount can vary each time you make it). Pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, not wet.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a ball, flatten into a disc, and wrap in saran wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Roll out the dough until you have a 12 inch circle. Transfer the dough to your 9 inch pie pan ( trim the dough to fit, if needed). Pick the crust all over with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 rounded Tbsp flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Pour filling into the pie crust and bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Keep an eye on the pie to make sure it doesn’t get too dark ( I left to give the kids a bath and the crust got a bit crispy). Refrigerate the pie for at least 5 hours before serving. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
If you are feeling adventurous…..
Butter and Buttermilk
1 qt Heavy Cream (not ultra pasteurized)
2 1/2 TBSP white vinegar
Strainer or cheesecloth
Medium sized Bowl
Mix heavy cream in stand mixer at the highest speed possible (without splattering cream everywhere). As cream thickens turn the speed up. Once the mixer separates into a solid (butter) and liquid (buttermilk), about 10-15 minutes. Strain the butter over a bowl to catch any residual buttermilk. Add the vinegar to buttermilk and set aside (it will begin to thicken and curdle).
Rinse the butter under cold water, squeezing it until the water runs clear. Add salt to taste or leave it unsalted. Place the butter and buttermilk into airtight containers and store in the refrigerator.
I hope you enjoy my spin on this southern classic. I think this recipe could give my grandma a run for her money. It felt great getting back in touch with my heritage and teaching my kids something that I learned from my Grandma. I am so grateful to have such smart, strong women to call upon when I’m lost and need help. I’m even more grateful to be able to pass these recipes to my family. Thank you for reading and have a great Thanksgiving!