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Buttermilk Pie is a classic Southern pie recipe that has a sweet baked custard filling. It’s a little bit like a chess pie and it’s so good. If you’re looking for a new pie recipe, try making this one. We love how simple it is to make and how good it tastes!

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slice of pie on white plate with fork and pie behind
Table of Contents
  1. What is Buttermilk Pie?
  2. Ingredients Needed
  3. What does Buttermilk Pie Taste Like?
  4. How to make Buttermilk Pie
  5. Storing and Serving
  6. Buttermilk Pie Recipe Recipe

What is Buttermilk Pie?

It’s a custard-like pie that originated in the United Kingdom. This southern classic is an old-fashioned custard pie that’s similar to Chess Pie, but different enough that it has it’s own name. I’ve also heard it called Sugar Cream Pie – so many names, one delicious recipe. In other words, it’s sweet heaven.

Why you’ll love this recipe

The best part about this pie is how easy it is to make. It has just a few ingredients and doesn’t need any special equipment. With one bowl and a whisk you can have it into the pie shell in under 10 minutes.

pie in white pie plate with slice missing on brown table

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter: gives the pie a nice rich flavor
  • Sugar: for sweetness
  • Flour: all-purpose flour makes the pie stable
  • Eggs: needed for the custard-like texture of the pie
  • Buttermilk: hence the name! This gives body to the custard and a bit of tang to the flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice, which helps the pie firm up. Want to add some lemon flavor? Add some lemon zest too!
  • Salt: Helps cut the sweetness
  • Vanilla: Always buy pure vanilla extract
  • Nutmeg: A classic spice added to this pie

What does Buttermilk Pie Taste Like?

A Classic Buttermilk Pie has a custard-like crust with a creamy filling. I find the filling in this pie to be a little closer to that of a pecan pie than a chess pie. A chess pie is more smooth and creamy, where this one has a little bit of texture to it.

The taste is sweet and creamy and perfect paired a pastry crust (or my all butter pie crust recipe)

collage of 4 photos showing how to make buttermilk pie

How to make Buttermilk Pie

  • Prepare the Crust: Place pie crust in a pie plate and crimp edges as desired. Chill while you make the filling.
  • Make the Filling: Start by whisking the butter, sugar, and eggs. Then whisk in the vanilla, salt, flour, and nutmeg, followed by the buttermilk.
  • Fill the Pie: Place pie crust on a cookie sheet. Fill with filling. Place strips of foil around the edges of the crust or use a pie crust shield.
  • Bake: Place pie in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown (it looks like creme brûlée on top) and only slightly jiggly in the center. Cool completely before slicing.
slice of pie on white plate with fork and pie behind

Storing and Serving

How to store pie: Store the pie covered, in refrigerator. It slices easiest when it’s been chilled and tastes delicious cold or room temperature!

Can you freeze pie? You can freeze the entire pie baked or freeze slices. Learn how to freeze desserts. Mine is in the freezer for the holiday!

How to serve Buttermilk Pie: The pie is best plain or with whipped cream. I like it room temperature or even slightly warmed!

slice of pie on white plate with fork and pie behind

FAQs

What if you don’t have buttermilk but want to make this pie?

I have a whole post about how to make your own buttermilk! You can do that if needed but since buttermilk is one of the main ingredients I highly recommend buying it at the store and not substituting it. Buttermilk comes in low-fat and non-fat varieties and I’ve seen it at almost every grocery store (as well as Target and Walmart) so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

What crust goes best with custard pie?

You can use a graham cracker crust if you want, but the traditional crust is a regular pie crust. There’s no need to preface the pie; it’s in the oven long enough that the crust will bake up just fine. I suggest using a pie shield (or covering the edges with foil) so they don’t brown too much.

Why is my buttermilk pie runny?

There’s a good chance it wasn’t baked long enough or you didn’t let it cool enough. Make sure the pie is completely cool before slicing. I even recommend chilling it first. The pie does weep a bit overnight, but it shouldn’t be runny.

How do you know buttermilk pie is done baking?

The top will be dark golden brown and will look a bit puffed. The center will be a teeny bit jiggly, but not wet or runny looking.

What is the difference between buttermilk pie and chess pie?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between chess pie and buttermilk pie, you’re not the only one. The main difference is that chess pie has cornmeal in it and often uses milk instead of buttermilk. Otherwise they’re very much the same.

slice of pie on plate

Buttermilk Pie Recipe

5 from 13 votes
Buttermilk Pie is an old fashioned classic southern pie recipe! This easy pie recipe takes no time at all and is a sweet and creamy pie similar to a chess pie recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 10 slices
Serving Size 1 slice

Ingredients
 

  • 1 9-inch pie crust , from scratch or a refrigerated pack of two
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (23g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (237ml) buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place pie crust in a pie plate and crimp edges as desired. Chill while you make the filling.
  • Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place pie crust on a cookie sheet. Fill with filling. Place strips of foil around the edges of the crust or use a pie crust shield.
  • Place pie in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown (it looks like creme brûlée on top) and only slightly jiggly in the center. Cool completely before slicing.
  • Store, covered, in refrigerator. It slices easiest when it’s been chilled and tastes delicious cold or room temperature!

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword pie

A classic Buttermilk Pie is the perfect custard pie recipe! It’s an easy old fashioned pie with a sweet creamy filling that pairs perfect with a pastry crust.

Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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2 Comments

  1. I made this but it came out really runny I left it in longer but it just made it worst. Like the butter all went to the top and started bubbling, not sure what I could have done wrong

  2. I have made Buttermilk Pie for many, many years and everyone loves it, I put chopped pecans on the bottom and carefully pour custard over them, delicious.