Thursday, May 7, 2009

Buttermilk Pie

I have always had a serious case of lemon-love so it's no surprise that one of my favorite things in the world are lemon bars. I didn't realize it while I was making this recipe, but Buttermilk Pie turned out to be a sort of lemon bar in pie form. In other words, I loved it.

This recipe came from a book I just read called, Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School, detailing the journey the author, Katherine Darling, undertook in going back to school, in this case, the French Culinary Institute in New York City. The book includes a number of delicious sounding recipes but this pie grabbed my attention right away. It exudes summertime; it's light, lemony, a bit creamy in texture and altogether delicious. I served it with my Honey Vanilla Rhubarb which was a heavenly match.

For the Pâte Brisée:
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor, add the flour and salt, blending briefly to combine. Add the pieces of butter and blend in short burts until the mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal. Add 1 tablespoon of the ice water and blend briefly. The dough should begin to come together. If not, with the motor running, add a few more drops of water until the dough begins to clump. Put the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Pat it into a disk, wrap the plastic wrap around it, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but even longer is better.

Place the disk of dough on a very lightly floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough into the pie dish and press into the dish, making a decorative edge as you go. Place the pie dish into the fridge while the filling is being made.

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, salt and nutmeg into a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and whisk until well combined. Add the buttermilk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla, stirring after each addition. Sift in the flour mixture slowly and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into the prepared crust.

Bake in the middle of the oven until puffed and set, 35-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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