Buttermilk Pie {and a Rant about Pie Crusts}

Buttermilk Pie

Baking pies from scratch is hard.

I follow so many foodies on Instagram and as it was Thanksgiving in America this week, my feed was flooded with stunning pies! I couldn’t help but feel totally pumped to bake a pie too; three failed pastry attempts later, this buttermilk pie finally happened.

All I keep thinking every time I look at it is… that was so not as easy to make as everyone makes it seem! Ok, the filling part is pretty straight forward. But twice I added too much water to the pastry and had to start again.

When I finally got the water content right, the blind baking frazzled me. Most recipes call for parchment paper and baking beans, right? Well not Marcus Wareing from Masterchef Professionals. He shared the recipe for a tart he baked for the Queen, and persuaded me through the TV rays to use cling film and rice instead. Who was I to argue with Mr. I-bake-for-the-Queen?!

So of course, the cling film completely shrunk, exposing the edges of the crust which were then almost burnt!

If you add up all the time it takes to make the pastry, let it rest, blind bake it, add the filling and bake it again, then cool it and refrigerate it… it’s a really long time. This is why I probably won’t be rushing to make a pie from scratch again anytime soon… or until Baby K has started school!

So why am I posting this recipe?

I’m sharing this recipe anyway because when I started this blog, I wanted to write about my adventures in the kitchen, new recipes I try, what works and what doesn’t, etc. And when it comes to cooking, not everything is always a roaring success! But somewhere along the line, I stopped sharing disasters because… well, just have a browse at galleries like FoodGawker; it’s pretty intimidating! Everyone is making such gorgeous-looking food (even the simplest things are framed so stunningly) and then there I am with my watery, burnt crust, haha.

But… if you’re a seasoned pie baker looking for new filling ideas, or you’re going to use a ready-made base, then this actually tasted pretty delicious. Its an eggy, custardy, wobbly filling, over stem ginger-infused pastry; perfect with a cup of tea 🙂

Ingredients (Recipe is from the Jamie Magazine, December ’14 issue)

For the crust:
75g drained stem ginger, chopped
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
115g butter, chilled and diced
2 medium egg yolks
30ml ice-cold water

Egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of milk)

For the filling:
4 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
500ml buttermilk
230g crème fraîche
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the crust, put the stem ginger, flour and salt in your food processor and pulse till they are combined. Then add the butter and pulse some more till it resembles breadcrumbs. Separately, mix the egg yolks with the water, and then gradually add it to the flour mix, pulsing as you go. Stop when it all comes together as a rough dough.

Place the dough on a clean surface and flatten it into a disc. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Now for the filling, beat the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl. Then, add the beaten eggs.

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and the crème fraîche until smooth, then stir this into the egg mixture. Allow it to stand; you’ll notice a lot of bubbles rising to the surface, which will dissolve by the time you are ready to bake the pie.

Roll out the dough and use it to line a 23cm pie tin. ensuring you are left with an overhang which you can crimp with your fingers. Prick the base with a fork and put it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit). Line the pie crust with baking paper and fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove beans and paper, brush the crust all over with the egg wash, and return to the oven. This time, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees, and bake for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the grated zest over the base and pour in the filling. Bake the pie for 55 minutes (or until set). It should be soft when its done; it will firm up once chilled.

Jamie Magazine

How Jamie thinks it should look. I came close, I think!!!



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