Buttermilk Pie and a Cornmeal Crust

Oh my! The best summer dessert there is. Creamy, sweet, savory, rustic (or something like that), tangy, and all around delicious. The custardy filling is so good, and the cornmeal crust just adds the right thing to it. And since this recipe already got deleted from my hardrive once (dang 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Crash of my hardrive), I’m doing what I can to save it. So here this baby is, my specialty:

Buttermilk Pie

Cornmeal Crust Ingredients

– 1¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
– ¼ cup cornmeal
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold sweet cream salted butter
– 5 tablespoons water

Filling Ingredients

– 5 tablespoons sweet cream salted butter, at room temperature
– ¾ cup sugar
– 2 large eggs, separated
– 2 ½ tablespoons flour
– 1 cup buttermilk
– ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
– ¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
– 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons sugar


– For the cornmeal crust: Combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor or use a bowl and a pastry cutter; pulse or mix until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time, using just enough until a dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 9-inch pie pan and pie weights for blind baking the crust.

– On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle and transfer to the pie pan, trimming edges to fit. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or freeze for later use). Line the chilled pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and weigh it down with pie weights or uncooked beans. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

– While the crust is baking, make the filling: In the large bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the butter and ¾ cup sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour in increments, mixing well. Slowly add the buttermilk, lemon juice, zest, mace, and salt, mixing well. The mixture will form curds, set aside.

– In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the egg whites and salt on medium speed. Beat for a few minutes until frothy, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of sugar, increasing the speed to high and beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the buttermilk mixture and pour it into the pie crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the surface is brown and barely jiggles.

Can be served with fresh berries (raspberries are the best!) or whipped cream. Serves 8.


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