Southern Buttermilk Chess Pie

Buttermilk Chess Pie
Buttermilk Chess Pie. Diana Rattray
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Ratings (11)

This buttermilk pie has the wonderful tangy flavor from the buttermilk and some lemon juice and zest. This is a surprisingly easy filling to make, and you can use a frozen pie crust or homemade pastry in the recipe. It's a tasty version of the classic chess pie, a Southern favorite.

You can use an unbaked pie crust, but for a good, non-soggy bottom, the pie crust should be partially baked first. Follow the instructions on your pie crust or make your own.

This pie, with the hint of lemon in the filling, is delicious with freshly whipped cream and shreds of lemon zest. Or top it with a big dollop of frozen (thawed) whipped topping.

The pictured buttermilk chess pie was made with a partially baked frozen pie crust.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (full fat), well shaken
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

How to Make It

  1. First, partially bake the pie crust. If using a packaged pie pastry or frozen pie shell, check the package directions for time and temperature. If you are using a homemade pie crust recipe or there are no instructions to follow, heat the oven to 450 F (230 C/Gas 8). Line the pie shell with parchment paper or foil and fill about two-thirds full with pie weights and/or dried beans. Bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Remove the pie crust from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights and foil or paper. Return to the oven for 3 minutes, or just until it begins to show some color. Remove the pie to a rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).
  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Blend well.
  2. In another bowl whisk the eggs with the buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients and blend well. Pour the pastry into the par-baked crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes; reduce the heat to 325 F (165 C/Gas 3) and bake for about 25 minutes longer, or until the pie filling is set. It should be fairly firm in the center with little or no jiggle.
  4. Remove to a rack to cool. Chill before serving.
  5. Serve with freshly whipped cream or frozen thawed whipped topping. Sprinkle with shreds of lemon zest, if desired.