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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Buttermilk Pie and find out a bit more about me


This pie recipe brings back such warm memories. The thoughts of visiting my husbands family where you could imagine this was always available. There was never a chance when the delicious goodness of his mom and grandma were not present during a family gathering. The family did not have a lot of money but what it missed in financial respect it made up in love and hard work. His grand-father worked in the coal mines for many years passing away due to black lung disease. In the days that he worked the mines there was not the protective gear that today miners have nor was the money there. It was hard dirty work and you ended up owing more than you brought in on pay day. His uncles were mechanics and worked hard and could take any old junker and make it humm. Those men loved to eat and eat hardy and grandmas buttermilk pie was something that was always invited.

Cornmeal Lard Crust

from Sarah Malphrus, pastry chef of Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC
yields one single crust pie

This crust gets an awesome crumbly texture from the cornmeal, and a ton of flavor from the lard and butter. It’s a secret weapon of a crust to have tucked into your apron like a pistol. Or a dagger. Or throwing stars. You know, your weapon of choice. Mine is pie crust. Really can’t thank Sarah enough for passing this one along.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold pork fat, cut into 1/2″ pieces (I use leaf lard)
1/4 (half a stick) butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup ice cold water
Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt. Cut in fat and butter until no pieces larger than a pea remain. Slowly add the water, working it into the dough with your hands until it comes together. On plastic wrap form the dough into a disc 4″-5″ across  wrap, and chill for at least an hour. When ready to use roll out on a floured surface to fit a 9″ pie pan, flouring as needed to keep from sticking.

Buttermilk Pie

from Celeste Albers of Wadmalaw Island Farm & Dairy by way of Sarah Malphrus
yields one 9″ pie

I’ve seen my fair share of recipes for buttermilk pie, but I happen to agree that this is the best. Folding in the egg whites gives it this almost souffl√© like texture. It’s a very light and airy, almost like a light cake, which isn’t what you expect. It hasn’t too much sugar or lemon. It’s just perfect. It puffs up so golden in the oven, and then settles nicely as it cools. I bake mine on the lower rack in my oven as I find it gets a little brown a little fast on the middle rack. But everyone’s oven is different. Remember to bring all your ingredients to room temperature before you start. It matters. I like this so much it is joining Sugar’s Chocolate Pie (my grandmother’s famous pie that I now make in her stead) in the Thanksgiving pie line-up. So, it’s kind of a big deal.
2 eggs separated, room temp
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup  sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temp
powdered sugar (optional, for dusting)
*would also be good with fresh whipped creamRoll out your crust and put it in your pie pan. Cover in plastic and chill in the fridge while you make your filling.Heat oven to 350° F.Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. With whip attachment cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Add yolks to butter-sugar mixture and combine well. Add the flour, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt to the mixture. Slowly steam in buttermilk and mix for 1 minutes. Fold the whites into the buttermilk mixture.Remove crust from fridge and pour in mixture. Smooth with spatula and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and set in the middle. Cool thoroughly on a rack before serving. Dust with powdered sugar if you like or top with fresh whipped cream.

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