Buttermilk Slab Pie: A Southern Symphony of Comfort in Every Bite
In the tapestry of Southern desserts, where the essence of comfort and tradition intertwine, Buttermilk Slab Pie emerges as a symphony of rich flavors and a celebration of simplicity. This quintessentially Southern dessert, with its flaky crust and luscious buttermilk filling, pays homage to the culinary heritage passed down through generations. Join us on a delightful journey as we unravel the secrets behind creating the perfect Buttermilk Slab Pie, a dessert that embodies the warmth and hospitality of the South.
To embark on the creation of Buttermilk Slab Pie, gather the following ingredients:
For the Pie Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
6-8 tablespoons ice water
For the Buttermilk Filling:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon (optional)
Powdered sugar (for garnish)
Prepare the Pie Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll Out the Dough: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). On a floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to fit a 9×13-inch baking dish. Press the dough into the dish, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Trim any excess overhang.
Prepare the Buttermilk Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour for the filling. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest if using. Mix until smooth and well combined.
Pour into the Pie Crust: Pour the buttermilk filling into the prepared pie crust, ensuring an even distribution.
Roll Out the Top Crust: Roll out the second disk of dough on a floured surface. You can choose to cover the entire pie with a full crust or create a lattice pattern for a decorative touch. If using a full crust, make a few slits to allow steam to escape during baking.
Bake to Golden Perfection: Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is set, and the crust is golden brown. If using a lattice pattern, cover the edges with foil after 25-30 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool and Garnish: Allow the Buttermilk Slab Pie to cool completely before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar for a finishing touch before serving.
Chill the Ingredients: Ensure that both the butter and buttermilk are cold when preparing the pie crust and filling. This helps achieve a flaky crust and a smooth, cohesive filling.
Don’t Overwork the Dough: Be cautious not to overmix the pie crust dough. Overworking can lead to a tough crust instead of the desired flakiness.
Test for Doneness: To check if the pie is done, insert a knife into the center. It should come out clean, indicating that the filling has set.
Fruit Infusion: For a fruity twist, layer slices of fresh peaches, berries, or sliced apples on top of the buttermilk filling before adding the top crust. This variation adds a burst of flavor and a delightful texture.
Pecan Praline Perfection: Incorporate a layer of pecan praline between the buttermilk filling and the top crust. The caramelized pecans add a crunchy contrast to the creamy filling.
Chocolate Swirl Sensation: Create a marbled effect by drizzling melted chocolate over the buttermilk filling before adding the top crust. Swirl the chocolate with a knife for a visually stunning and indulgent addition.
Adapting Buttermilk Slab Pie to a keto lifestyle involves a few creative substitutions. For the crust, use almond flour, butter, and a keto-approved sweetener. The buttermilk filling can be made with almond milk, cream cheese, and the same sweetener, adjusting quantities to suit keto guidelines.
For a low-carb version, follow the keto adaptations while being mindful of the sweeteners used. Opt for a lower-carb sweetener in both the crust and the filling. Almond flour and coconut flour can be combined for the crust to reduce carb content.
Buttermilk Slab Pie is more than a dessert; it’s a slice of Southern hospitality, a taste of tradition, and a testament to the art of simple, soul-satisfying baking. As you indulge in each forkful, relish the flaky layers of crust, the creamy embrace of buttermilk, and the subtle sweetness that envelops your palate. Whether served at a family gathering or enjoyed as a comforting treat, this pie transcends ordinary desserts. So, embrace the nostalgia, savor the richness, and let Buttermilk Slab Pie become a cherished chapter in your own culinary traditions.