Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

January 18, 2013

brown sugar buttermilk pie | une gamine dans la cuisine

The other night I dreamt that I was locked up in an attic. My room was in the tower of a sprawling mansion with one small oval window overlooking the sea, and I remember watching a storm roll in from the west- I had to keep wiping the window with a stiff, lacy sleeve because the room was humid and cold at the same time. All of a sudden the door, which was rounded and hobbit size (even in my dreams I'm short), opened and about 17 cats walked in- each with a tiny cake strapped to its back. A vintage yellow-coloured refrigerator materialized out of nowhere and I fed them fresh tuna from the sea below, along with some buttermilk. As they happily ate, the cakes fell off and the crumbs turned into butterflies upon hitting the wood floor...

Very V.C. Andrews meets David Lynch.

Anyway, I woke up craving buttermilk. Buttermilk and pie. Not cake.
brown sugar buttermilk pie | une gamine dans la cuisine

I'm smitten with desserts that have buttermilk in the title. It's an easy sell. Buttermilk offers a creamy twang to sweet things lovingly baked in the oven.

Compared with the blushing, coy, fruit pies of spring and summer, this pie is not very glamorous. But it's sweetly humble and exceptionally happy with its homey, cosy visage. The filling is a sublime custard with hints of maple, cinnamon and of course, buttermilk. What makes this pie so irresistible is its sweetness contrasted with the buttery, flaky crust. I love a crust that makes me want to devour every last crumb. This one is a keeper!

I'm on a Baked cookbook kick lately. Is it wrong to be obsessed with their recipes? I doubt it- and more importantly, can you blame me? Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito are pastry icons. I'm thinking about building a Baked shrine.

brown sugar buttermilk pie | une gamine dans la cuisine

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

for the pie crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks {Note: I froze the butter chunks in a covered bowl overnight.}
about 3/4 cup of ice water

for the filling
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Add the cold chunks of butter and toss everything together until the butter is well-coated with the flour mixture.

Place into the bowl of a food processor and, using quick bursts, pulse until the butter pieces are the size of oatmeal and peas- don't worry if they're not all uniform. Slowly, using about 1 Tablespoon at a time, begin adding the ice water- pulsing for about 4 seconds after each addition. As soon as the dough comes together on the blade, stop adding the water. (You probably won't need the entire 3/4 cup). Scrape the *dough out onto a floured surface and pat in into a disk. Wrap the disk in parchment paper and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to 3 days).

*The dough might look wet and sticky- once it's thoroughly chilled it will roll out beautifully.

On a floured surface, roll the chilled dough out into a 12-inch circle. Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and carefully work it snuggly into the bottom and sides. *Trim the edges so you're left with about a 1-inch overhang- tuck in the overhang and crimp the edges using your knuckles or the tines of a fork. Wrap the crust and freeze until firm- about 30-40 minutes.

*If you have enough dough left after trimming, re-roll and cut out tiny shapes! 

Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons of flour and the ground cinnamon (it's okay if it curdles). Add the brown sugar and whisk until the mixture is well combined. Add the melted butter, buttermilk, almond extract and maple syrup- whisk vigorously until combined.

Remove the crust from the freezer. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of flour over the bottom of the crust. Pour the buttermilk batter into the shell.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the custard filling is set. {Note: I had to add 20 minutes to the baking time-for a total of 80 minutes. If the crust is browning too fast and the filling is not set, cover the edges with a pie crust protector or tin foil.}

Remove the pie from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. Cool before serving. Enjoy at room temperature.

Adapted from Baked Explorations


  1. What a beautiful pie! Exquisite sounding too.



  2. I've never had a buttermilk pie but that clearly needs to change! This sounds luscious - trade me a wedge for a few lemon bars? ;)

  3. The pie sounds perfect, Val! I love the Baked cookbooks too! I must bake something from them, instead of just read and look at pictures, especially after seeing all your lovely creations. Can I join you in a slice? That was one heck of a strange dream! :) Have a great weekend!

  4. I remember many dreams too..This pie is dream like..Lovely!

  5. Happy to know I'm not the only one on a Baked high right now! I was actually just thinking to myself that I need to spread out my posts about Baked desserts, but their recipes always turn out so well. Lovely pie :)

  6. Beautiful - I'm in love with buttermilk and pie, where is my piece?

  7. The closest thing Ive ever made to this was C. Tosi/Milkbar's Crack Pie, which is "Chess Pie" which is basically a cream pie that she amps up. I love that you used brown sugar and buttermilk! I pretty much could just drink that filling :) Maple, dark brown sugar, butter, buttermilk - YES!

    And had a feeling it was a Baked recipe. I NEED to get that book!

  8. Cool dream! I've had really vivid dreams this week, although nothing as story-worthy as yours.

    As for the pie, you had me at the title. Between the brown sugar and the buttermilk, I knew it had to be wonderful.

  9. This looks delicious (and your photos are beautiful!). I'm a fan of these type of pies, so I'm adding this to my baking list, for sure.

  10. Brown sugar buttermilk pie? Get outta here! That sounds (and looks might I add) magnificent! You sure do a pie good.

  11. Your photographs are beautiful! I would love a slice of this right now. I love different, unexpected pies.

  12. I need that book. Also I think I need to sleep more so I can have dreams like that. Looks gorgeous my dear, I've been kind of craving pie. Nice change from summer pies. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  13. You certainly have beautiful dreams and it's great that they serve as inspiration.

  14. I've never had a buttermilk pie, but this post makes me think that there's really no excuse for that. I completely agree with your statement that Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito are modern baking icons. Their recipes are always so inventive. My favorite will always be the pb krispie bars!

  15. How beautiful is this pie? I've never had a buttermilk pie but I'm pretty sure I'd fall in love with a slice of this.

  16. Your dreams sound like my dreams! Very psychedelic. This pie sounds out of this world!

  17. Very pretty photos, this looks yummy :)

  18. you have come such a long way since you first started blogging
    i mean your photos and your creations are just stunning my dear
    keep it up!

  19. Thank you, Dawn! That's a huge compliment...your photos are always stunning! :)

  20. your dream is totally awesome, i'm jealous of it lol - mine end up being just anxiety filled and mundane. i haven't tackled a pie since thanksgiving. i think it is time to change that, this sounds fabulous Valerie!

  21. This pie sounds delicious! I am also drawn to anything with buttermilk in the title : ) This pie looks like a wonderful treat. I can't wait to try it!

    Danielle xo

  22. This is what I'm going to miss on my Paleo diet. But now worries, once my 30 days are up, I can reintroduce sweets and cheats on the weekend or one day a week! You know I can't resist...!

  23. I would never have thought of putting buttermilk in a pie like this - brilliant, my friend!

  24. You make it look so pretty in the photos, and then stories to go along! This looks very good - another one to put on my try it list.

  25. So I'm currently wondering where the heck I have been for so long!? I LOVE the new look and have really missed seeing all of your delectable treats!!

  26. Oh my God! Where did you buy those plates? I absolutely love them and want them for myself!


  27. Thanks, Valentina! (Beautiful name, btw!) :)
    The plates are from my dad's side of the family- they were probably purchased somewhere in France...quite old, but I'm in love with them too.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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