My stomach is rumbling for this. I’m trying to eat it very, very slowly, so that I can write about how it tastes before I chow down and finish the pie off and then have no real, coherent thoughts or memories about how it tasted. In dietitian world, this is called mindful eating.
It’s hard to mindfully eat when you JUST WANT IT ALL in your mouth NOW!
I’ll do my best to chew, taste, think, and enjoy just like a good, proper, mindful dietitian.
At first bite, I love two things: the *lemon* and the *crust.* The lemon is the first thing you taste. The flavor is spot-on — noticeably tart, but not over-powering. The crust is just what it should be — flaky and crisp on the bottom, but soft and buttery where it meets the custard. I like that combination, but those soft bites — those are what I live for. It’s the whole reason I eat pie. Really, the pie could be filled with anything and I would eat it, just to get that soft doughy, half-baked taste of pie crust. [Mmmm… entering my happy place…]
Cooked strawberries have a much deeper, more concentrated flavor than fresh strawberries. Almost earthy even. The pie needs these strawberries to balance out the tartness of the lemon and buttermilk.
I know I’m unique in this, but I am one of those few people who likes plain buttermilk. (I’m actually not unique, but in with a solid crowd of 80- and 90-year-olds who also like plain buttermilk.) But friends, it makes sense. You already know about my love for sour cream, which is the ultimafavoritist condiment on the planet. And buttermilk is like liquid sour cream.
The buttermilk in this pie is what holds it all together. Once cooked, it gives the pie a custard-like texture, but without the eggy taste. Or a flan-like texture, but without the heavy syrup. It’s just a light, not too sweet, slightly tangy pie. Perfectly accompanied by some sweet whipped cream. Ya gotta get that sugar in there somewhere, right!?
Now. I was born and raised in The South and I must tell you that this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Buttermilk Pie. And apparently it’s a Southern Staple because most of the recipes I found were named “Southern Buttermilk Pie.” I asked Mom about it and she said Buttermilk Pie is very similar to Chess Pie, which is also a Southern Staple, although I’ve never had Chess Pie either. Am I living under a rock? It sure feels like it sometimes. How can you go 27 years, the majority of them being in a Southern State, never having tasted these so-called Southern Pies?
So, I dropped the word Southern off my pie and it’s just a good ole’ National Pie. Heck, why not go International with it?
Side note: Someone explain to me why buttermilk is sold in quarts if the single largest amount I’ve ever seen in a recipe for 1 cup. Or mayyyybe 1 1/2 cups. Maybe.
Answer: So recipes like these are born, which we are pretty much forced to make because we need to use up that other 3 cups of buttermilk.
Strawberry Lemon Buttermilk Pie
- 2 cups fresh strawberries halved
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a pie pan with cooking spray.
In a medium-sized bowl, toss strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside.
Using a hand blender, blend together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, and butter.
Line a pie pan with the pie crust and poke holes in the bottoms of the crust with a fork. Place the strawberries flat side down and arrange how you would like them. (Once you pour the buttermilk in, the berries will rise to the surface and be visible.)
Pour buttermilk mixture over the strawberries.
Bake on the middle rack until top is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes.