Soft Buttermilk Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 - 10
Here's a twist: instead of a fresh summer fruit pie, use the fruit for a garnish alongside this custardy buttermilk pie. It's light, it's refreshing, and an unexpected departure from your standard summer pie lineup. (From The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Baking by Ken Haedrich - 2012, Yankee Publishing Inc.)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼" pieces
  • ¼ cup cold vegetable shortening, in about 8 pieces
  • ¼ cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, separated (you need 3 yolks and 2 of the whites)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the butter forms pea-size pieces.
  2. Add the shortening and continue to cut until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and mix quickly with a fork until the dough pulls together. Shape into a ball. Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk about ¾" thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. When the dough has chilled, place it on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper and roll into a 13-inch circle. Invert the paper and pastry over a 9½" deep-dish pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, then sculpt the overhanging dough into an upstanding rim. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°.
  4. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil about 16-inches long and line your pie shell with it, tucking it into the shell so it fits like a glove. Add enough dried beans to come nearly all the way to the top, to weight the pastry down. Bake on the center rack for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, lift out the foil and beans, and prick the bottom of the pastry 6 or 7 times with the tines of a fork, to keep the shell from puffing up. Lower the heat to 350° and bake 10 minutes longer. (Cool the beans, store, and reuse for the same purpose.) Cool the shell on a rack. "Plug" the holes in the bottom crust with dabs of cream cheese, to prevent leaks.
  1. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, three egg yolks, lemon juice, vanilla, and melted butter. Using an electric mixer, beat well for 30 seconds.
  2. Clean and dry the beaters. Beat the two egg whites in a separate bowl until they hold soft peaks. Add ½ cup of the liquid to the egg whites. Fold the mixture together. Add the whites to the remaining liquid and stir well to blend.
  3. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the center oven rack for 40 minutes, until the top of the pie is a light golden color. When done, the pie will be "set" - it will not move in waves when the pie is nudged.
  4. Cool the pie thoroughly on a rack, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour - preferably longer - before serving, garnished with fruit.
Recipe by The Pie Academy at