Buttermilk Pie with Caramelized Pecans

After all we’ve eaten the last few days, we probably don’t really need another dessert, but being as how this is one of our favorite pies, and we’re well into the holiday season now, I thought I’d throw another one at ya’. 

But this isn’t just any ol’ dessert, no sir.  It’s Buttermilk Pie, which I think is super great for the holidays because it’s not really rich and sweet, yet it has that soft, comfortingly luscious quality that you’re looking for this time of year.  This will probably remind you of an old fashioned custard pie, but the buttermilk in it gives it just a subtle little tang that we love.  At the last minute I decided to add some caramelized pecans to dress it up a bit, and that turned out to be one of my favorite great ideas.  You could make those caramelized pecans and put them on anything and it would taste great, but they were especially wondrous with this creamy pie.

And like so many of our favorite pies, this one is just gosh darn easy to throw together.  And if you keep buttermilk on hand like I do, you probably have everything you need in the fridge right now.  If you’re not into pecans, you could drizzle it with a little dark chocolate or top it with your favorite jam or fresh fruit, but buttermilk pie is pretty happy about being served simply.  Warm from the oven.  No adornment necessary. 

Buttermilk Pie with Caramelized Pecans

For a printable recipe, click here

Serves 8.

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 pie crust (here’s mine), fitted into a 9-inch pie plate, well chilled

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg   

Caramelized Pecans for topping (see below)  


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, and sugar. Whisk in buttermilk and butter in 4 parts, alternating between the two. Whisk in vanilla. Pour filling into crust; sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Cover pie loosely with foil. Bake until filling is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Caramelized Pecans

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3 tablespoons light corn syrup (I use this)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon (generous) freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add pecans; stir gently to coat. Transfer to baking sheet.

Place large piece of foil on work surface. Bake pecans 5 minutes. Using fork, stir pecans to coat with melted spice mixture. Continue baking until pecans are golden and coating bubbles, about 10 minutes. Transfer to foil. Working quickly, separate nuts with fork. Cool. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Makes 1 1/2 cups.