Buttermilk Pie - biscuits and such
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Buttermilk Pie

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Strictly speaking, siblings are one of life’s greatest joys. Fifteen years ago I was spinning a completely different tale, but these days I have nothing but appreciation and gratitude for my brothers and sisters. A few weeks ago when I went up to Chapel Hill for the Our State Magazine launch I had some free time and had the opportunity to enjoy an hours-long coffee date with Reid, just the two of us. For years my time with my family has been centered around big trips South or events- graduations, reunions, weddings, holidays. I’ve rarely had the opportunity to pop in for dinner or grab a bite to eat with any of my siblings which also meant that that we spent moments together catching up on the big stuff. This coffee date we were able to talk about everything else. Work and life and goals and dreams and love and family and everything in between. Over a slice of buttermilk pie and a cardamom latte I got to listen to Reid talk candidly about his life and I couldn’t help but to feel so proud of him. He’s accomplished so much and it’s such good work. I am full of admiration for what he’s been able to do by staying focused and committed to his passions and his beliefs. He’s a great man, that Reid Rosemond.


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I’ve spent the past month craving buttermilk pie (Scratch makes a mean buttermilk pie), so yesterday I picked up a bottle of local buttermilk and in the small space of time in the late afternoon I whipped up this pie for a friend’s party. Making and photographing this pie, with the glorious light in the kitchen and an oven that cooks evenly and buttermilk so thick and glorious it should be sipped from a glass on a mountaintop in the Alps made me so glad to be in this new space, in this town, in this state, back home. And somehow this simple post about a delicious pie has become a reflection on gratitude, which is fine. I’m incredibly grateful for my family, for old friends that are now so close, and for the new friends that are welcoming us into the fold and seem to like us and laugh at our stories and share their stories and make us feel home here.


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Next week we’re heading to New Orleans for Lauren’s wedding. First we’ll pick up the minivan then we’ll get Reid in Durham and then Ryan and his girlfriend Erin in Charlotte and then an 11 hour car ride later we’ll be there waiting for Genevieve and Naoise and our parents and cousins and aunts and uncles and, of course, Lauren and Bradley. And while the week of celebrating and the wedding is going to be amazing and wonderful and so much fun I think one of the things I’m most looking forward to is that drive, that chunk of hours spent in a rental car with my family, catching up and talking about the small things. The important things.


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Buttermilk Pie




1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of cinnamon

1/4 cup shortening

1 stick butter

1/2 cup cold water




1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cups butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt



Stir together dry ingredients for flour. Work in shortening. Cube butter and work it in with your hands until the texture of the dough is like coarse cornmeal. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.


Melt butter. Mix together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt. Slowly mix in buttermilk.


Roll the dough out and press into a pie dish. Heat the oven to 400 and pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then drop to 350 for an additional 50 minutes. Pie should be golden brown. Let rest for 2 hours or until center has firmed.


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  • Michelle

    04.05.2013 at 20:17 Reply

    Such beautiful photos.

  • Sandylen

    07.05.2013 at 18:18 Reply

    Congrats on the Saveur recognition. I really enjoy reading your blog. Can’t wait to hear about your trip to New Orleans.

    • elena

      08.05.2013 at 17:21 Reply

      Thanks Sandy! I’m sure there will be lots to post about!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    22.05.2013 at 09:56 Reply

    I have never had buttermilk pie but I simply must now! This looks so delish! Gorgeous photos!

  • Laila Mirza

    13.04.2015 at 04:56 Reply

    Could you replace the shortening with butter? I tend not to use butter in my recipes

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