Buttermilk pie is a favorite Thanksgiving dessert staple in Texas. This is a delicious, old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie using basic ingredients from the pantry. Most famllys consider this pie their favorite holiday pie to serve especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Do not be put off by the buttermilk as this is a sweet and flavorful pie with a delicate custard. It is an elegant holiday pie to serve family and friends. People love the creamy flavor of this pie which has a custard like quality. You will see many variations of buttermilk pie adding flavors like lemon or chocolate. This version was shared by my husband’s aunt, Lila Scheer, of Vancouver, WA, This Buttermilk Pie recipe has chopped pecans sprinkled on top and it is delicious!
Some people get Chess pie and Buttermilk pie confused with each other, but there is a difference in how they are made. Only buttermilk pie uses buttermilk where chess pie does not. Chess pie also uses corn meal as one of the ingredients where buttermilk pie does not. Either way they are both wonderful pies to enjoy!
History of Buttermilk Pie:
Buttermilk pie is very popular in the Southern United States and some compare the flavor to creme brulee. It has strong similarities to Chess Pie with its custard texture, but Chess Pie does not contain buttermilk and it uses cornmeal. See also similarities to the Amish Sugar Cream Pies.
Buttermilk Pie is believed to have originated in England. The recipe was brought to the United States by Southern settlers. It was predominately made in Texas where they were very resourceful with buttermilk because it was in large abundance and inexpensive. When fruit was not in season, this pie could be made all year round with ingredients from the pantry (sugar, flour, butter, eggs, buttermilk). The traditional recipe for buttermilk pie calls for 2 cups of sugar which combined with the buttermilk gives the pie a very sweet and tangy flavor. In Texas, serving buttermilk pie for dessert is a Thanksgiving tradition. Many people recommend enjoying a slice of buttermilk pie with good strong coffee to cut the sweetness of the pie.
Comments by Kate Matthews of Shreport, Louisiana, a recipe contributor to Taste of Home Magazine:
“This recipe is older than I am and I was born in 1919! My mother and grandmother made this pie with buttermilk and eggs from our farm and set it on the tables at church meetings and social gatherings.”
Buttermilk Pie Recipe:
Published resource for buttermilk recipes, Southern Cooking by Mrs. S. R. Dull.
Homesick Texan, Buttermilk Pie, More interesting comments from readers giving some of their family history and memories with buttermilk pie
The Christian Science Monitor, Stir It Up -Thanksgiving recipe: Sorghum Buttermilk Pie, by Perre Coleman Magness.
KQED – Bay Area Bites – Culinary Rants and Raves, “Thanksgiving Dessert: Yeehaw and Buttermilk Pie with Fresh Cranberry Compote”, by Kim Laidlaw, Nov 26, 2013