Friday, July 13, 2012

Buttermilk Pie Bake-Off!

Contestant #1: Traditional Buttermilk Pie
Contestant #2: Sinfully Simple Buttermilk Pie
What do you do with leftover buttermilk?  Make pie, of course! In researching recipes, I found a couple of radically different approaches to this Southern dessert. And so a bake-off was born.

Contestant #1, Traditional Buttermilk Pie, is a classic with a deep dish crust and a hint of vinegar.

Contestant #2, Sinfully Simple Buttermilk Pie, is a one-bowl wonder made with baking mix. 

Pies were rated  to ★ (1 being the worst; 3 being the best) on three factors: Ease of Preparation, Texture, and Flavor.

Disclaimer: No pies were excessively consumed for this bake-off.  After sampling, remaining pie slices were distributed amongst office staff.

Traditional Buttermilk Pie

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Partial bake pie crust according to package instructions. Let cool while preparing filling.
  • Combine the sugar and flour in a bowl and set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream the butter.
  • Add the sugar mixture, and then mix in the eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and vinegar.
  • Pour filling into partially baked crust and bake in the oven until top is browned and custard set, about 45-50 minutes.
  • Cool completely before slicing.
This pie is fairly easy to prepare, but it does require partially baking the crust, using two bowls and a couple of steps to blend everything together.  The top was wonderfully crunchy, but the center didn't firm up fully, even after adding another five minutes of baking time.  The custard that did develop, however, was creamy and delightful on the tongue.  The flavor was fantastic.

★ for Ease of Preparation
 for Texture
(because of the liquidy center)
 for Flavor

Sinfully Simple Buttermilk Pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup baking mix (I used Bisquick HeartSmart.)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spritz a pie plate with non-stick buttery spray.
  • Beat all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour filling into pie plate.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on oven temps.
  • Cool at least five minutes before slicing.
This pie is so easy to prepare that it's almost criminal.  Everything is dumped in a bowl and mixed, and then into the pie plate it goes.  The top lacked the appealing crunch of the Traditional pie, but it did brown up nicely.  The layers of texture throughout the pie were harder to discern.  The baking mix  rises to the top, resulting in a slightly custardy base, but it's not nearly as dramatic as the Traditional pie.  The flavor was terrific.

 for Ease of Preparation
 for Texture
(because of the lack of crunch and the similarity of the layers)
 for Flavor

Winner of the Buttermilk Bake-Off:

Sinfully Simple Buttermilk Pie!

These recipes are linked up at It's a Blog Party.

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