Buttermilk and Chess Pies: Delicious Tradition

By on 3 December, 2011 in Cooking, Food, Heather Coleman with 0 Comments

Let them eat pie!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the last of the turkey and sweet potatoes have probably found their way out of the fridge. But if you are a true Southerner, then you probably still have half a quart of buttermilk leftover from the cornbread dressing. Instead of letting it sit in the back of the fridge and slowly sour, why not make a buttermilk pie?

Pies always remind me of my grandma. My grandma wanted nothing to do with cakes, but she could make fantastic pies. Give her a clean Pyrex bowl and a fork, and she could hand whip the most amazing meringue that you have ever seen! She was also queen of throwing things together until it looks right, so many of her recipes were never written down. In the stack of recipes that I inherited there were a million cake recipes, but only a couple of pies. Buttermilk pie was one of her “throw together” recipes, so there wasn’t a copy in the file. There was, however, a recipe for Chess pie, which is essentially the same as Buttermilk pie, only with regular milk. So lucky you, if you don’t have any leftover buttermilk then you can use regular milk — it just won’t have quite the same tangy flavor.

The recipe below is my grandmother’s, but I added a few notes because, as I mentioned, most of her recipes were more grocery list than recipe. Hope that you enjoy!

Chess/Buttermilk pie

4 eggs (or can use 3)
1 cup buttermilk/milk
1 ½ or 1 ¼ c sugar (this is a little much for me, I use 1 cup)
3T flour
½ stick oleo (butter)
1 tsp vanilla
a little salt
unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Mix sugar, flour, melted butter and vanilla, then add slightly beaten eggs and (butter)milk. Pour into pie shell and cook at 325 degrees for an hour.

*You want the top to be a deep golden brown. Make sure that the pie is set. If you have to, put a little foil around the edges of the crust to avoid over-browning

Buttermilk pie is most certainly the best part of Thanksgiving leftovers! It is a rich, sweet, creamy (but slightly tangy) custard pie that can be thrown together in five minutes and baked while dinner is cooking. It’s perfect with an after dinner cup of coffee. If you like, you can add whipped cream or even berries, but I prefer it naked!

Heather Coleman is a freelance writer and part-time DIY’er who mostly manages to fit her projects in around her family and her volunteer work. She lives with her husband, two boys and two pets in Midtown.

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