Pics or it Didn’t Happen: Buttermilk Pie

Zach Bell, Yale University

When my Dad requested a buttermilk pie, I was immediately skeptical. Buttermilk, a fermented version of cow milk, is thicker because the acid content (which also gives it a sour taste) denatures, or unravels the milk proteins (mostly casein). I used cultured buttermilk, made with lactic acid bacteria, for more thickness. For a smoother texture, I creamed the butter and mixed in the sugar.

With the addition of egg yolks and flour…

Adding the buttermilk. The mixture took on a semi-curdled appearance, but poured easily.

I whipped the egg whites from the yolks I added earlier, and then combined them with the buttermilk mixture. The whipping gave a lighter texture to the filling.

I partially pre-baked the shell and then baked the filling in the crust. The texture was perfect, but alas, only my Dad really liked the flavor. Richly tangy, buttermilk pie requires a different kind of consumer than myself. Then again, I am not a big fan of especially sour yogurt either. With a sourness that lingered in my mouth, I did not go back for a second piece. My Dad didn’t mind my aversion though, all the more for him!


Filed under Food, Pics or it Didn't Happen, pie, Zach B.

6 responses to “Pics or it Didn’t Happen: Buttermilk Pie

  1. That looks amazing. I use buttermilk a lot in baking, but haven’t tried this or chess pie and really want to.

    • both buttermilk and chess pie aren’t for everyone–the flavors are definitely more “old school” than most people are used to, either that strong tangy ferment flavor or toothachey sweet. i would recommend giving them both a go though, making pie never hurts

  2. Liz

    This seems to be a Hoosier specialty. I’ve never tried it. I really should bake one up, but maybe I should sample a slice first…not sure I’m a fan of too much tang, either~

  3. Sounds delicious and unusual. I’d be more tempted by tangy rather than sweet so going to give Buttermilk pie a try.

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