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Brown Sugar, Brown Butter, Buttermilk Pie

Posted Nov 23 2011 9:49am

The last few days have been quite a feat to get through, but I did it. Stressful work situations, catching up (a lot of) school work, and the imminent arrival of my parents for Thanksgiving. All of the above have been accomplished, so that leaves me time to blog this morning.

So, here I am, just in time for Thanksgiving with a one-of-a-kind pie that, if you can believe it, was described as “better than pumpkin” (!!). Add this to the creamy veggie mac side dish from a few days ago, and you’ve got two great Thanksgiving dishes to bring to the table.


This is one of those recipes that, when I saw it, I instantly ripped it out of the magazine and held onto in my pile of other ripped out magazine recipes. Brown sugar buttermilk ? How different, and yet super easy!

I do have one confession though. I did not make my own crust.


I know, I know! Hopefully I still have readers left. It tasted great with a frozen crust so I can only imagine what it would taste like with a fresh, homemade crust.

Anyway, let’s move on to the actual recipe , because I promise you will love it.


Brown sugar buttermilk pie  (I didn’t change a thing, so click here for the actual recipe!) calls for flour, three eggs, two egg yolks, brown sugar, buttermilk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter.

I imagine, like me, you had all these ingredients around the house except buttermilk (and pie crusts, boo). Buttermilk is insanely cheap and you can even find it organic. You need 1.5 cups and one cup will run you about $.60 so you’re golden.

Let the buttermilk sit out on the counter while you tend to your crust. The recipe has directions for making your own, so I encourage you to try it. If you pick up a frozen crust, prick a few holes around the crust

(otherwise it will fill with air bubbles and you’ll end up pricking halfway through and putting a hole in the bottom…)


then let it sit out on the counter for 10 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven to 400. Bake the crust for about 12 minutes, until pale golden, and let cool. Reduce the heat to 375.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs and whites, and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk and spices. In a small pot, heat the butter over medium, swirling occasionally, until the butter is golden brown. This takes about 10 minutes, while the foam subsides (basically, the fat solids are separating). This makes brown butter and it is so good. Immediately whisk the butter into the mixture, then pour the filling into the shell.


Bake until almost completely set but still a little wobbly in center (I’ve actually heard Alton Brown say that if your pie is completely set when you take it out of the oven, it’s overcooked). The recipe says it will take 25-35 minutes, but mine took 45. Just keep that in mind. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving, even chilling in the fridge if possible.

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This pie tastes miraculously like pumpkin pie but contains no pumpkin. It’s delicious – creamy with a brown top and perfect with a dollop of Tru Whip on top.

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We made this pie for a potluck on Saturday and continued eating it for three days. It almost got better with it’s time in the fridge.


I know it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I know you have your menu set already, but this pie is easy enough to add at the last minute and everyone will think you’re fancy and high-brow when you tell them what it is. Promise!

Question: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert, other than pumpkin pie?

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