It suffered gross neglect during the “gourmet” 1970s, then in the so-called “nouvelle Southern” movement 1980s, it survived a tarted-up comeback, with the additions of such things as powdered sugar, raspberries, blueberry sauce and the like. The pie’s brief popularity faded once again in the early part of this century, but happily, it’s lately enjoyed yet another revival, this time appreciated for what it is: a delightfully simple and economical sweet that will fit in just about anywhere it’s taken.
It’s been interesting over the past couple of years, how our cooking has taken us back to our roots. Have you, like I, been getting lots of emails from food-related websites links to recipes from decades ago? It may have something to do with the pandemic that ravaged the world and continues to do so, but I like to think that it’s because we’re finally coming to our senses and appreciating those foods that our grandparents made that were so simple, but so delicious.
Buttermilk pie is one of those that I didn’t fully appreciate until I was going through some of my mother’s recipes and found her recipe that my dad so loved. I remember hearing him say it reminded him of his mother’s buttermilk pie.
There are many variations of this pie, but our house-favorite is this one. It’s one that I make when looking forward to those cooler days of autumn when we begin longing for a break from the heat and some homey comforts. This recipe makes two pies. Bake both and enjoy one now, then freeze the second one for later. The pies are good frozen for up to three months, so you’ll appreciate having one on hand during the busy holiday season.
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 Tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups whole-milk buttermilk
- 1/2 Tsp. vanilla
- 1/2-1 Tsp. lemon juice
- 2 single-crust pie shells (preferably made-from-scratch; store-bought if you must)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, butter, flour, baking soda, buttermilk, vanilla and lemon juice; mix well with electric mixer. Place pie shells in two 9-inch pie pans, then divide filling between both. Bake pies for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking for 30-35 minutes, keeping an eye on the pies so the crust doesn’t overbrown. If needed, shield the pies with aluminum foil.
Makes two pies.