Friday, August 13, 2010
Buttermilk Pie with Raspberry Topping
I baked this at the same time as a loaf of zucchini bread because they both used buttermilk and because if you're heating up the kitchen to bake one thing you may as well go on a baking spree. Buttermilk pie is a traditional Southern dish, basically a custard pie, and it's ideal for when the larder is bare. Since it's the height of summer I decided to add in some seasonal fruit, but this is a perfectly respectable pie without the berries. This pie is literally simple as pie, and there's no fiddly top crust to deal with. I got the basic recipe from the NPR website.
Preheat oven to 350
1 unbaked pie shell
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
lemon zest (my addition)
Blend together the ingredients, but not so much that they start to foam. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Cover the crust with foil so it doesn't burn. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife comes out clean. The pie will puff up a bit, and the surface should be golden brown. It will fall as it cools. If you are topping it with raspberries, let it cool some, but it doesn't need to be fully cold if you are in a hurry.
1 pint raspberries
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. cold water + 2 tbsp corn starch
Rinse the raspberries. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Mash with a potato masher and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and bring back to a simmer for 5 minutes. Spread across the pie. Cool for at least an hour before slicing.
NOTES: the topped pie and the plain pie are very different experiences. The plain pie is a subtle, but creamy and satisfying affair, perfect with some strong coffee. The fruit topped pie will be more dominated by the fruit flavor, but equally delightful. What I like about the buttermilk base is that it isn't as heavy as a plain custard or cream filling.