Buttermilk Pie Recipe

Wipe that smirk off your face, don’t let the word buttermilk fool you! This sweet flavorful delicate custard pie has been compared in taste to crème brulee.

I’ll be honest, this is one Southern great-grandmother who does not like to drink buttermilk. But don’t be fooled by that, you’ll always find buttermilk in my refrigerator. It is a staple ingredient in many recipes for Southern cooks. I am excited to share this delicious old fashioned family recipe for buttermilk pie. I’m sharing this in time for it to become one of your family’s favorite holiday desserts. Make a buttermilk pie for Thanksgiving, you might want to tell your guests that it is called “Thursday Pie”.

Thanksgiving Traditions Continue

My friend, Kaye Loftis, shared this Granville family recipe in Wilson Living Magazine in November 2014. She reminded us that we gather each year on the fourth Thursday in November for the three F’s- feasting, food, and football. Although today’s Thanksgiving celebrations would likely be unrecognizable to those who attended the first harvest meal, there are many similarities. We still gather with family and friends to enjoy a good food, friendship, and give thanks. Kaye and I have fond memories of Thanksgiving with extended families. Interestingly, we both still serve our families the same basic menu that we recall from our grandparents. Thus, validating the claim that family recipes with-stand the test of time.

Generation to Generation Family Recipes

In our community, food was gathering together in good times and bad times, food was family, food was a way to show you cared. We loved to make it, eat it, share it and talk about it. Evidently, this still continues and we are not alone in our love for talking about food. Cooking shows are on primetime television, online streaming, social media, blogs, and websites.

But nothing beats tried and true old-fashioned recipes – handed down generation to generation. A dish with a story that can remind you of someone special or take you back to a childhood memory.

Not Just Ingredients but Fragments of Wisdom

Families no longer live with or near extended family which makes it impossible to learn to cook by observing the older generation. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to observe and engage in conversation with generations of family cooks. I not only have the recipes with ingredients needed but I have fragments of wisdom learned through observation. The history, the story of the recipe adds a little family history to a holiday meal.

My children have fond memories of Granny’s Bread and Butter Pickles. They say, they have never had any that even come close to measuring up to Granny’s. Wait, there is a story. My daughter says she was scared half to death when sent to the dark cellar to get a jar of pickles. Her love for the pickles gave this little girl the courage to fight through the spider webs to the shelf with the treasured pickles.

My Buttermilk Pie Story

I’ve been told that buttermilk pie originated in England and was brought to the United States by early Southern settlers. Living on a farm, families had an abundance of buttermilk and the other ingredients for the pie were staples found in the home.

I found this in the recipe box of my great aunt, Vallie Williams. In small letters at the bottom of the recipe were “Mrs. Douglas Holleman-Granville". Ann Turner, daughter of Ms. Holleman, recalls her grandmother making buttermilk pie and never used a measuring cup nor a recipe. It is obvious that this is a wonderful example of an oral recipe passed from generation to generation.

Buttermilk Pie Recipe


3 eggs

1 ½ cups sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

½ cup butter, softened

squirt of lemon