Buttermilk Pie

The Buttermilk Pie is a true icon of Southern American cuisine. Rooted deep within the traditions of home-cooked family gatherings, its origins trace back to the UK and many European countries where dairy-based pies were common. However, it found a particularly fond home in the Southern United States where it quickly became a staple.

But what makes the Buttermilk Pie so special?

Texture and Flavor:

First and foremost, it’s the exquisite blend of textures and flavors. The pie boasts a slightly crunchy, caramelized top layer that gives way to a soft, custard-like interior. Its sweetness is perfectly balanced with a hint of tanginess, thanks to the star ingredient – buttermilk. This perfect balance ensures that every bite is neither overly sweet nor too tart, making it a delight for the taste buds.

Simple Ingredients:

A hallmark of many traditional recipes is the use of simple, available ingredients. Buttermilk Pie is no exception. At its core, this pie celebrates the magic that basic ingredients like sugar, eggs, and of course, buttermilk, can conjure up when combined. This simplicity made it popular during times when fancier ingredients were hard to come by.


Another charm of the Buttermilk Pie is its adaptability. While delicious on its own, it also lends itself beautifully to variations. Additions like lemon zest, nutmeg, or even a sprinkle of desiccated coconut can add a new dimension to its flavor profile. This means that while the classic Buttermilk Pie has a standardized recipe, there’s plenty of room for bakers to get creative.

Cultural Significance:

Beyond its delightful taste and texture, Buttermilk Pie holds a special place in the cultural tapestry of the American South. It’s a pie that tells stories of grandmothers passing down recipes, of holiday gatherings around crowded tables, and of the warmth of Southern hospitality. Many Southerners can recount memories of this pie cooling on window sills or being the center of attention at Sunday potlucks.


In a world of complex desserts, the Buttermilk Pie stands as a testament to the beauty of simplicity. It’s a pie that doesn’t scream for attention but wins hearts with its understated elegance and mouth-watering flavor. Whether you’re looking to explore Southern cuisine, recreate a nostalgic childhood memory, or simply bake something delightful, the Buttermilk Pie is a choice you’ll never regret.

The recipe


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, butter, and flour and beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla, and nutmeg. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Bake until center is firm, 40 to 60 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour before serving.


  • If the edges of your pie crust are browning too quickly, cover the pie with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
  • You can tell your pie is done when the top is lightly browned and the center of the pie still jiggles slightly. It will continue to set as it cools. You may stick a toothpick in the center, if it comes out mostly clean your pie is ready.

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