Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodI baked my first buttermilk pie from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.  I’ve always been curious to bake a buttermilk pie and not having a family recipe or tradition of buttermilk pie baking, I turned to this wonderful heirloom dessert cookbook for a delicious recipe.  Buttermilk pie has a unique flavor and the aroma while it bakes makes the entire house smell good.   It was tangy from the buttermilk, lemony from the lemon zest and flavorful with fresh gratings of nutmeg in the filling.  The delicate pecan crust  is perfect with the buttermilk custard filling.  If you bake this pie and you’re a pecan lover -you will love this crust.  Also don’t forget to add the sugared pecans on top for a garnish.

I know that most people are running around with a million things to accomplish during this last month of the year.  But, I like to think of myself as never too busy to bake a pie, especially a quick and easy buttermilk pie.  No fruit to mess around with, chocolate to melt or mousse to set up -this pie is perfect for busy folks looking for a comforting delicious homemade dessert.

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodOriginally from the UK but now a Southern delicacy, buttermilk pie is a tradition that makes the plain baked custard in a cup from my childhood look ho-hum…although I did love the baked custards from back in the day at Walnut Creek’s Comptons in Emporium-Capwells.  Although, I don’t believe they used buttermilk in their custard recipe, for sure there wasn’t a pecan crust.

I like a pie recipe with history and tradition-like buttermilk pie which is sometimes referred to as ‘chess pie’, although I read that a true chess custard pie contains cornmeal which buttermilk pie does not.  I also like baking a pie that you can have fun with-like adding a warm blackberry fruit sauce or sugared pecans on top.
Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodButtermilk pie would make a delicious addition to the holiday sweet table -how fun would it be to serve a traditional dessert that tastes so good and is easy to prepare.  I like the sound of buttermilk pie and apple pie served together.  I’ll take a small slice of each please!

I love to bake pies on a cold wintry day and enjoy the buttery aromas coming from my oven.  I can’t think of a better gift for the family than to share this traditional Southern pie over the holidays.  It’s so easy to make, there’s only one thing to remember when baking and that is to remove your pie from the oven when the filling is firm and set.  Another thing I love is that it can be served slightly warm from the oven or  later after being chilled in your fridge.

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodI hope everyone is enjoying the holidays, not getting too crazy and taking time to smell the evergreens-whenever possible!  I finished wrapping my presents -now I have to keep my grandkids from opening their packages or guessing what’s in them before the big day arrives.  I know they are excited but I want them to have something to open and be surprised by on Christmas.  I guess I could tell them that Santa says you have to wait!

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Yield: 8 pieces

Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.


  • for the crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off)
  • 1/3 cup of pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
  • 1 large egg
  • Flour for the work surface
  • for the buttermilk filling
  • 1&1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1&1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Sugared pecans for garnish (optional)


  1. to make the crust
  2. Combine the flour, pecans, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground.
  3. Add the butter and egg, pulse until the dough holds together when pinched, does not form a ball.
  4. Form a flat disk, wrap in waxed paper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day. (dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months)
  5. Lightly flour the work surface before rolling the dough out to a 12" round.
  6. Place the rolled dough in a 9" pie plate and gently press into the bottom and against the sides of the pan.
  7. Trim the dough to leave a 1" overhang over the rim of the pie plate.
  8. Fold the overhang of dough back over itself to form a double layer and with your fingers crimp or press the dough down around the edges.
  9. Place back in the fridge for 1 hour before baking to reduce shrinking.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  11. Line the pie shell with parchment or foil and add pie weights before baking.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and continue to bake for 10 minutes longer until golden.
  13. Remove from oven and cool while making the buttermilk filling.
  14. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
  15. to make the buttermilk filling
  16. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  17. Add the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, lemon zest and nutmeg. Process until combined.
  18. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the warm pie shell and bake for about 55 minutes or until the filling has set and is slightly wobbly in the center.
  19. Cool on a metal rack.
  20. Serve at room temperature or chilled, garnished with pecans.
  21. Lower the oven to 325F.

Share this post →
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone


  1. I love old cookbooks – that one seems like a gem. Your pie looks perfect and the pecan decorations are just right for setting off the custard.

    I hope your holiday preparations are going well!

  2. This is such a fabulous recipe for buttermilk pie…I think I was looking for one a while back. Blackberry sauce would be a lovely compliment…thanks!

  3. I recently purchased this book and was quite intrigued by the recipes. I somehow missed this one but NOW need to make this. It looks simply divine! You are certainly the baker extraordinaire! (Still enjoying your cookies – plus the nuts!!!)

  4. I’ve never tried buttermilk pie but it sounds so delicious, I love the pecan crust!

  5. The pie looks marvelous, Patty. I can eat the buttermilk filling with a spoon!

  6. What a delicious pie. I love using nuts in crust…never tried with pecans. I miss that taste. The buttermilk filling looks beautiful :) ela

  7. Oh my goodness the sunny yellow pie is so refreshing! We are covered in the gray haze from the Big Sur fire
    and missing our winter sun! Merry Christmas Patty!

  8. I’m never too busy for pie. :) This is beautiful, Patty!!

  9. Now I see what your meant about we were on the same wavelength :). I do love pecans so the crust sounds wonderful and I’ve never made a pie like this before but would enjoy trying it. I love how you styled the silverware too. Delicious post!

  10. Yummy ! This looks delish and so bright and yellow. I love that you used buttermilk. I’ve seen articles written on this book but have yet to purchase it. I may need to think that over again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. I love baking with buttermilk but never thought to make it the star of the show as you’ve done here with this lovely pie. So nice to meet you at the cookie exchange last weekend, Patty and Merry Christmas!

  12. Patty – your pie is gorgeous. That is a beautiful cookbook (and one that I have been dutifully resisting since it came out)

    Did you know that the Beekman Boy’s shop is only about 40 minutes from me :-)

  13. I had been meaning to look into that book. Wow. This pie is as beautiful as your presentation!

  14. I have a resolution to make a Buttermilk Pie in the New Year. I put those nuts of yours aside for a special occasion and I know what that will be now. Looking forward to your brunch recaps. I bet the grandkids are bursting with excitement that Santa is almost here. Such a pleasure catching up with you and please thank your kind husband again for me.

  15. Gorgeous and while you opt for a “small slice of each” …….I am up for a heart slab please :) Love those hilarious and talented Beekman Boys and I am going to have to check out that book. Happy holidays !!!

  16. I’ve always wanted to try a classic Southern buttermilk pie, and yours is perfection, Patty! I love that super smooth top layer. Absolutely beautiful, and perfect for the holidays!

  17. I have heard of buttermilk pie before, but have never had it. This sounds fabulous! Happy Holidays!

  18. I haven’t made a buttermilk pie in years and I don’t know why? Yours looks heavenly! Custard type pies are always a favorite in my family. This one does look perfect for the holiday table!
    Old cookbooks are such fun to browse!
    Wishing you a wonderful Holiday, Patty!!

  19. I too have always been curious about those buttermilk pies. Never had one or made one. I’m really glad to have you as a tester and will keep this recipe. Happy Holidays to you and your family Patty. hugs.

  20. Living here in the South this pie is a regular and it’s one of my favorites too! Your pie looks perfect and with a pecan crust is even better. Enjoy your Christmas with family and friends.

  21. Your pie looks wonderful, Patty. Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  22. Hi Patty! First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Second, this pie looks just delicious. I have only made one buttermilk pie in my life, but I really liked it. This post makes me want to make another!

  23. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Patty!! Wishing you happiness and good fortune in the coming year 2014! :)

  24. Just lovely, Patty!
    I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family!

  25. This looks fabulous Patty! I have never tried buttermilk pie, but I haven’t met a pie I don’t like. Hope you and your family had a merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

  26. I’ve always had a thing about baking a buttermilk pie, yet never did! It sounds so creamy and luscious. The pecan crust is perfect for it Patty! This recipe went straight to my pinterest board. Happy New Year!

  27. A dessert that’s held the test of time for two centuries must be a winner. Beautiful, too! Looks like your 49′ers eeked out a win tonight, too. Lot’s of tension in our house, but glad for a win on our end, too! Happy New Year!!!

  28. What a beautiful pie Patty, I love the delicate custard made with buttermilk…and yes the touch of lemon zest sounds just delicious.
    Happy New Year :D

  29. I’ve never had buttermilk pie before but I’m sure I would love it :) Hope you had a lovely holiday. Wishing you a delicious new year!

  30. Happy New Year, Patty! Thinking of you and rooting for the 49ers!! I don’t think I’ve ever had buttermilk pie, even though its a southern tradition – will have to change that. Sounds (and looks) delicious and I love pecans. Your photos are gorgeous as always :)

  31. “Never too busy to make a pie” — that sounds like a motto I could stand by! And this Buttermilk pie looks absolutely delicious!

Leave a Comment