I have always had a schizophrenic relationship with buttermilk. I remember as a young boy, that occasionally, we would have a bottle of buttermilk in the refrigerator, and that my father really loved to drink it. He would always try to get my sister and I to try it, but we were both for some reason appalled at the thought of drinking it, and I never have. Even to this day, I don’t think I have ever had the nerve to take a big drink of buttermilk.
I have always found it interesting that in many of the novels about pioneer or cowboy life, buttermilk is often offered as a drink to visitors. Because of my aversion, it seems like a strange thing to offer.
When I was around 10 years old, at one of the big Sunday dinners that we had at my Grandparent’s house, my grandmother Marchant, served a pie for dessert. It looked good, and tasted delicious, but for some reason, she refused to tell us kids what kind of pie it was, but I really fell in love with its tangy taste.
After I had verbally committed to my position that it had become one of my favorite kinds of pies, the boom was lowered and I was told it was a buttermilk pie.
I felt I had been terribly tricked, but it was too late, I was already addicted. Since then, I have enjoyed and fixed buttermilk pie hundreds of times, and it remains one of my favorites. Joan fixed one yesterday, and we enjoyed it’s tangy flavor last night.
Here is the recipe for the way I make it:
Stir and Roll Crust-
1/3 cup of oil (I use peanut oil, but corn oil or safflower oil also works)
3 Tablespoons of milk
1 1/3 cups of flour
Pinch of salt
Measure milk into oil, mix it around with a fork, add flour and salt. Stir until all the flour is moistened and can be formed into a ball. Place the ball on wax paper or saran wrap. Place another sheet of wax paper or saran wrap on top of it and roll it our flat to the size of a 10 inch (25cm) pie pan. Place the dough in the pie pan and start making the filling.
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of buttermilk
4 Tablespoons of melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375. Combine sugar, flour, and salt, blending thoroughly, add buttermilk, eggs, and butter, and mix it all up until it has an even liquidly texture. Pour filling into the crust, then put it into the oven and bake until the pie surface becomes golden. That generally is about 45 minutes.
I admit that it is pretty ridiculous of me to be afraid of taking a drink of butter milk, since in all probability, I will probably like the taste. My father really did, and I certainly love buttermilk pie, and have always liked some of the salad dressings that contain buttermilk. Maybe one of these days I will build up the nerve to pour some into a glass and give it a try.
View my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca