Thursday 10 October 2013

Heidi's Maple Buttermilk Pie

Though I'd spotted this pie and pinned it to my recipes to try board a few months ago, I didn't do anything about it until after I'd eaten a slice.

Last month my cookbook club decided to shake things up and try a blog instead of a book. We chose Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks. This Maple Buttermilk Pie was one of the stars that turned up.

The flavour of the filling is difficult to describe. Tangy comes to mind, but it's not sharp like a lemon tart - more of a gentle crème fraîche tang from the buttermilk, muted slightly by the warmth of the maple syrup. The filling sets to a thick and creamy consistency that slices easily.

After failing to write a recipe review post for August I thought I'd loosen it up and do them whenever I come across something interesting that's already online. I loved this pie at cookbook club so it seemed like the perfect thing to make and share with you. The combination of flavours intrigued me so I thought it'd be a good fit for the feel of the series.

I think this pie makes a great autumnal dessert - there's something about maple syrup at this time of year.

Some notes on the recipe:

- I did three turns of the pastry and made a half recipe so I didn't have extra. I didn't have any rye flour so I made it with plain flour. The crimping disappeared as the pastry puffed so I wouldn't bother with it again. I think I might try it with a non-flaky pastry another time (probably this one) - it's quicker and though the top ring of the crust is nice, I prefer non-flaky underneath the pie.

- I wasn't sure about making the filling before the shell had baked or cooled. I think another time I'd make it as the shell cools so that it's ready when it's needed rather than sitting around.

- Normally I make fake buttermilk by adding lemon juice but this time I wanted to have the proper thickness and flavour so I bought some (I found it in my local supermarket next to the milk). It's also worth seeking out grade B maple syrup - it's darker and has a stronger flavour than the normal grade A stuff.

- My filling was set (with a little wobble in the middle) and browning after 50 minutes, so I took the pie out.

- I think the filling tastes best the next day, cold from the fridge - the flavours develop overnight.

As Heidi's recipe is in cups, here are the measurements I used:

For the pastry:
125g plain flour
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
115g unsalted butter, cold
30-40ml cold water

For the filling:
6 egg yolks
30g plain flour
30g soft brown sugar
zest of a small lemon
160ml maple syrup (preferably grade B)
480ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Three more recipes that use maple syrup:
Maple Nutmeg Mini Madeleines
Baked Oatmeal
Ginger Bourbon Pecan Pie


  1. It actually looks surprisingly like pumpkin pie. I've never heard of something like this before but I'm going to have to try it. It's pinned!

  2. Looks like it turned out really well!

  3. Warm Vanilla Sugar11 October 2013 at 02:19

    I love buttermilk pie! This maple version is lovely.

  4. Sarah | The Sugar Hit11 October 2013 at 04:46

    This looks totally wonderful, and absolutely delicious. I love pie.

  5. I remember seeing this pie on Heidi's blog and I was intrigued by the maple syrup - buttermilk combination! It certainly sounds and looks delicious although I would tend to agree with you that maybe a non-flaky pastry would be better. As much as I like all kinds of puff pastry, with a filling like that I think I would prefer a sturdier base!

  6. Such a pretty black and white pastry pic Emma, love that fluting!

  7. I have always wondered if butter milk could be used in custard pie. I guess she has already figured out the measurements!
    I adore you description of it because I am not a huge fan really relaly sweet pies. Your looks gorgeous

  8. Pie looks wonderful! And so seasonal. I love those old-fashioned recipes. Thanks ever so much for the weights! It's annoying to often have to convert new recipes to weights.

  9. This looks like pumpkin pie! And I love the flavor combo of buttermilk with maple. Divine!

  10. this pie looks absolutely delicious and your descriptions of it is incredible

  11. Such an intriguing sounding pie; maple and buttermilk are two of my favourite ingredients so I'll definitely have to give it a try.

  12. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:34

    I hadn't thought of that - it does look like pumpkin! If a little more coffee-coloured than orange. Do let me know what you think if you try it, it's quite an unusual flavour.

  13. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:35

    I was pleased with it. It tasted like the one my friend gave us at cookbook club, so it was consistent too.

  14. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:36

    Ooh, what other buttermilk pie recipes do you know of?

  15. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:50

    Who doesn't love pie. Though I do take issue with some of the very sweet gloopy fillings. But this is nothing like that.

  16. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:51

    It's a great combination, you have to try it. Maybe you can try it with a different pastry and let me know how it goes... :)

  17. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:51

    Thanks Mary, I'm glad you like it.

  18. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:52

    I'd be curious to see how a straight up buttermilk substitution in a custard pie would work, actually. I'm glad you like it.

  19. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:53

    It really does feel autumnal. Not a problem, I've got quite used to converting over the years :)

  20. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:54

    I imagine you could give people quite a surprise if they were expecting pumpkin when they bit into this pie...

  21. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:55

    It's a great combination - I hope you try it sometime. It is lovely and creamy.

  22. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:55

    Thanks Jenny, I'm glad you like it.

  23. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:55

    I hope you do, I'd love to know what you think.

  24. poiresauchocolat17 October 2013 at 20:56

    Can't you get it there? I guess you could always make some butter and therefore make your own!

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