Buttermilk-Pecan Pie

We said goodbye to our favorite houseguests this morning, Andy and Heather, who sometimes make an Austin stopover when traveling between Mexico and the northeastern part of the US. But no more. They’ve taken jobs in Dallas, so it looks like there will be no more stopovers. Too bad because they are good sports and have always been up to trying new things, including Buttermilk-Pecan Pie

Buttermilk-Pecan Pie

The last time they stayed over, I served popcorn salad – an actual recipe from a very real cooking magazine. It was kind of a joke, but also because I wanted to see if this was something real people would eat. It wasn’t. But to keep on the popcorn salad tradition, I’ve always tried to offer something unusual to Andy and Heather. This time, it was buttermilk-pecan pie.

This is an old Southern recipe. Google it and you’ll see that most versions use way more sugar. This version, which I adapted from Rebecca Rather’s version which she based on one from the Wunsche Bros. café in Spring, TX, is less sweet.

When I first cut it open, I was a little surprised at its appearance. It was pale and appeared to be a creamy smooth buttermilk custard with a layer of pecans on top. My first taste was a big blas of twang, which I figured only senior citizens or people more accustomed to the flavor of straight buttermilk would enjoy. I was hesitant to serve it it for dessert so I made some molten lava cakes as a back-up. Surprisingly, everyone but me liked this pie more than the lava cakes. The twang has mellowed over the past 48 hours and it does taste pretty good. I don’t love it, but I will probably make it for my dad, who will.

Buttermilk-Pecan Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Buttermilk Pecan Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 uncooked pie crust, use a 9 inch deep dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans on a cookie sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes or until aromatic. Let cool, then chop coarsely.
  2. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and both sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs; Stir in flour and salt. Add buttermilk and stir until fully incorporated. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Place in oven (set on a cookie sheet to catch drips) and bake at 300 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool completely, then chill.


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  1. says

    Intrigued by the bare simplicity, I made a buttermilk pie recently too though sans nuts. It was the texture I found odd, more gelatinous than creamy. But I intend to keep working on it because you’re right, this is a “Dad’s” kind of pie!

  2. says

    I made a great Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pie recently. I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, http://www.bakerina.com. I also blogged about it on my own site, http://www.lindseysluscious.blogspot.com (the post was from May 31st, and it’s also listed under recent posts). You might want to try it, AK. It was creamy and delicious, not gelatinous. And Anna, I think this pecan version sounds yummy! I am definitely going to try it. I never thought I was a big buttermilk fan, but lately, I have also been making batch after batch of buttermilk ice cream. YUM! I’m a convert! –Gina

  3. Anonymous says

    Loved the popcorn anecdote! That’s something I would do. It’s reassuring things bomb for you too.As for the desserts, I’m with you — I’d go for the molten cakes. Don’t even need to try the pie to know that.Hope all is well with you.Tracy S.(don’t mean to be anonymous … I created an account just to post on your blog … and I’ve forgotten my “identity!”)

  4. Anna says

    Robert, I’d like to hear what you think. It was too twangy for my tastes, but it went over well with our friends.

  5. Robert Nanders says

    Wow, that looks awesome! I love buttermilk, and I think I’ll try making that – it’s about one of the only dairy products where I live that’s consistently useful!

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