Buttermilk adds a great tang to this mildly sweet, smooth, and custardy pie with a deep chocolate flavor from chef Deborah VanTrece.
Although this pie’s roots are in the United Kingdom, it is considered a traditional pie of the South. My first introduction to buttermilk pie was in the home of Grandma Richey, my roommate’s grandmother in Texas. She constantly overindulged us with good Southern meals that always included dessert.–Deborah VanTrece
DO YOU EAT BUTTERMILK PIE WARM OR COLD?
So that might sound like a ridiculous question but warm vs. cold buttermilk pie is more contentious than you might know, especially in the South where both sides can be very vocal about their preference. Eating it cold makes the filling firmer and the crust a little crisper. Warm makes the flavors more apparent and the filling creamier.
This pie can sit out, unrefrigerated, for a day or two if you’re a room-temp lover. Any longer than that and you’re going to have to eat it cold from the fridge…but none of us have ever experienced that kind of problem. Tell us what you prefer in the comments below–warm, lukewarm, or fridge cold?
Chocolate Buttermilk Pie
For the pie crust
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter cold, cut into small cubes
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk cold
For the filling
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder preferably Ghirardelli
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Whipped cream for serving
Make the pie crust
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut cold butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Make a well in the mixture and pour 1/3 cup of buttermilk into the well. Using a fork, stir until the mixture is evenly moist. Add more buttermilk as needed to form a dough. Move dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten it into a thick round. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature just long enough to roll out on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) disc approximately 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Roll dough over a rolling pin, then gently roll it into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate, pressing it gently into the dish. Trim excess dough from edges, then crimp edges with your fingers or a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
Make the filling
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Whisk in butter, flour, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and buttermilk until smooth.
- Pour filling into chilled pie crust and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the internal temperature is 170 to 175°F (77 to 79°C), 35 to 45 minutes.
- Move to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with whipped cream.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Chocolate pies can be hard to get right. Sometimes they’re just too sweet, or too rich or not a nice texture … you get the idea. THIS buttermilk chocolate pie is fabulous! The level of sweetness and richness is perfect, and hey, who doesn’t like chocolate custard??
Because I have celiac and can’t eat regular flour, I didn’t use the pie dough recipe, though it looks intriguing and I may try to convert it! I had a little piece of the pie while it was still warm, though it had cooled for about an hour at that point. Even warm it sliced beautifully, with nice clean cuts and no sagging. I had another piece for breakfast, because pie is the BEST breakfast, and it was equally good, if not better, after sitting overnight.
I served this with this bourbon whipped cream.
The second I saw this recipe for buttermilk chocolate pie, I knew I was going to make it. After a quick read-through, I absolutely knew that I would make this sooner than later. Reader, drop everything and make this pie now. You probably have everything you need to make this delectable pie already in your pantry, so GET TO IT. Chocolate! Pie! Two beautiful words combine to make something beautiful.
It’s quick, it’s easy, you don’t have to plug in any appliances unless you want to, and in the end, you have a satisfying, delicious dessert. Or if you’re me, pie for breakfast.
Originally published October 8, 2021