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Chef John's Buttermilk Pie

Rated as 4.37 out of 5 Stars

"Not only is this buttermilk pie easy to make and beautiful to look at, it's also bursting with the kind of bright, tangy flavor that no other custard-style pie can touch. This is sort of like a vanilla custard, meets lemon meringue pie, meets very light cheesecake. Except better."
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1 h 20 m servings 415
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 (9-inch) pie)


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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Roll out pie dough large enough to fit pie dish with just a bit of overhang. Transfer dough to pie dish and gently fit into dish. Trim excess dough hanging over the edge. Fold about 1/2 inch of the edge of the dough to the inside edge of the pie crust to reinforce it. Crimp the edge. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork about 10 times. Place a sheet of parchment paper gently into the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans so pie crust doesn't bubble up with you bake it.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven; lift weights from pan with edges of parchment paper. Allow crust to cool completely.
  4. Place butter in mixing bowl; add sugar. Smear together until completely combined using a spatula, 4 or 5 minutes. Add flour and salt. Mix together until combined. Stir in 3 eggs; mix until slightly blended. Then using a whisk, whisk together until mixture is fairly smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour in vanilla extract. Add nutmeg, zest of lemon, lemon juice, and buttermilk. Whisk until thoroughly mixed, 2 or 3 minutes. Pour into pie shell.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and just set, 45 to 55 minutes. Pie should have a slight wiggle, but not a soupy "jiggle." Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can use 1/2 of my Buttercrust Pastry Dough for this recipe--it would be perfect!
  • I've never had much trouble finding buttermilk, even in regular, non-fancy grocery stores, but depending on where you live in the world, apparently that's not the case. There are many "hacks" for making a substitute, usually using milk and lemon juice, or vinegar. I'll let you Google those at your leisure, but I'd be more inclined to try some yogurt, thinned out with some milk to be closer to the tanginess of buttermilk.
  • Once your pie is made, it can be served "as is," or topped with seasonal fruit. I went with raspberries, mostly for the pictures, but if you were going to do this for the holidays, some persimmons, and/or pomegranate seeds would also be very nice.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 415 calories; 21.2 52.6 5.2 101 237 Full nutrition

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  1. 38 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

If you want to make it just a little more light and fluffy, just separate the eggs and beat the whites with a hand mixer for a couple min. Then fold them in as part of the recipe suggests. Not...

Most helpful critical review

It tasted like a lemon pie. And it was beautiful to look at but it was not accepted well by the dinner guests. No one was very enthused with it. I thought it was pretty good but not even close t...

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Least positive

If you want to make it just a little more light and fluffy, just separate the eggs and beat the whites with a hand mixer for a couple min. Then fold them in as part of the recipe suggests. Not...

No changes, and absolute perfection just as Chef John made it. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

I used some cardamom seeds, crushed and steeped in a 1/4 cup of hot milk for a half hour to add some of my favorite flavor to this pie. It was a hit with everyone who tried it. I've made it repe...

You can make this without the crust and it's still amazing! I found this recipe as I was trying to use up some ingredients I had around. I didn't have enough flour (or desire, really) to make a ...

Love love love anything by Chef John and this pie is no exception! I substituted plain organic yogurt & coconut milk for buttermilk per Chef's suggestion (I didn't want to go to the store) & lim...

I followed the instructions exactly as directed, this pie was delicious, family loved it, The best part was 2 days later there was a piece left ,,the lemon flavor was really delightful,...

Made 2 of these for a family reunion and everyone raved! They even where racing to get the last piece.

I fell in love with Buttermilk Pie 20+ years ago. I have been trying different recipes for years. This is by far my favorite. my teenagers even loved it!

Delicious, followed recipe and pie came out great. Thanks Chef John!