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An All-American 4th of July: Southern Buttermilk Pie

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I think my favorite holiday may be the 4th of July. It gives me a chance to not only run around grilling to my hearts content without people thinking I am a mad man playing with fire and knives, but it gives me a chance to delve into what is considered to be true-blue (or true red/white and blue) American cooking. It's fun and that really is what cooking should be all about.

In this series called An All-American 4th of July, we will have some fun with some true American cooking. It will be tasty! It will be easy and it will give you a chance to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation on the face of this earth while filling your stomach with delicious morsels of Americana!

For southern Chef's buttermilk is an art form. During my travels throughout the South, I have had buttermilk in everything and though I cannot stand the taste of buttermilk on its own, when it comes to cooking it will liven up anything it comes into contact with. Of course the most famous dish, of the southern variety, featuring buttermilk are the various versions of fried chicken. Then there are the always incredible buttermilk biscuits (remember biscuits?). Buttermilk is also featured in many southern desserts and this one, a very simple Buttermilk Pie, may be one of my favorites.

Whenever I have an extra cup of buttermilk in the kitchen, I will always make this pie. It is simple, tasty and always brings a smile to the face of whomever is lucky enough to be eating it (which is usually me). As far as the crust is concerned, you can use one of those chemically-induced pre-formed crusts sold in supermarkets or you can make your own. There is only one pie crust I use and it is very simple. You can find the recipe and the how-to pictures here.

You have heard the terms "southern hospitality" and "southern comfort" but if you truly want to know what these terms mean, then by all means bake a Buttermilk Pie!

Ingredients needed to make Buttermilk Pie (makes 1 9-inch pie):

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Into a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs and flour until smooth.
  3. Into the mixer beat in the buttermilk, zest and nutmeg and beat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the buttermilk filling into the pie shell (for homemade see the link above).
  5. Place the pie on a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake 60 minutes.
  6. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool to room temperature and then chill until ready to serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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