Tag Archives: buttermilk pie crust

Peaches and Cream Pie

My old Betty Crocker says that you can make either an apple pie or a blueberry pie “Dutch” by pouring a little heavy cream into the filling, either before you put the top crust on your blueberry pie, or 15 minutes before your apple pie is done through the pie slits. They don’t say and I have no idea what makes this Dutch, but it seems to me a no-brainer to add cream to a peach pie. So, I’m just going to make a regular peach pie with a cutout top, and pour in some cream before it’s completely baked, as suggested for the apple pie. I think a lattice would look nice, but I’m not in a weaving mood, so I’m cutting out some shapes from what would be the top crust to semi-cover the top—and make it easier to pour in the cream. I have a pretty good idea about the mess I would make trying to pour cream through pie slits.

Since I still have buttermilk from the recent pot pie, I’m going to make another buttermilk crust, but this time with the food processor. The only hard part of this pie is peeling the peaches—the boiling water, the ice water, the mess. I better go do that now. Take note that if your peaches are firm, like mine are, the peel may not peel off after dropping in boiling water then ice water, but you should still do that routine, because it makes it easier to peel with a vegetable peeler without taking off too much valuable flesh.

After sitting in the sugar-flour-cinnamon mixture, my peaches created a ton of juice. I think it might be a messy pie. One advantage of making a pie with a lattice or cutouts is that there are a lot of open spaces so juices will not have to bust out of the edge. If such a pie makes way too much juice, use a baster to remove some of it before it boils over.

Buttermilk Pie Crust

  • Servings: makes one double crust
  • Difficulty: easy if you're used to making pie crust
  • Print

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar (better in a dessert pie)

1 cup cold butter (2 sticks) cut in small cubes

1/2-3/4 cup whole buttermilk, depending on your humidity

heavy cream and decorating sugar for top

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) in a food processor.
  2. Pulse in cold butter until uniformly distributed, but not too finely.
  3. Add in buttermilk through the processor chute until the dough holds together but is not overly sticky. I had to use a little more than the 1/2 cup, but not quite as much as 3/4 cup.
  4. Knead the dough lightly into a fairly smooth ball, cut in half, and shape each half into an 8 inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll each disc to a circle about 2 inches bigger than your pie dish. My dish is a regular 9 inch dish, not too deep.
  6. Fit one crust into your dish, trimming the overhang. Turn under the edges and crimp. Cover the edges with foil if you think the crust will become too dark. I did not.
  7. Fill the crust, then place crust cutouts in pattern of your choosing.
  8. Brush the cutouts with heavy cream and sprinkle decorators sugar on top.
  9. Bake at 425° for about 45 minutes.  About 30 minutes into the baking, pull the rack out and pour 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream into the filling, trying not to hit the cutouts. I put a large piece of foil under my dish, because I could see there was going to be a juicy overflow.

Peach Filling from the old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961):

6 large peaches, peeled and sliced

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

My addition: 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix all together and let sit while the dough chills. If you are concerned that all the juice won’t thicken in the pie, you could always cook the filling first in a saucepan, which wouldn’t be much different from using a canned filling, but it would still be your own. I have made many pies in my life that just didn’t work right, when either the fruit didn’t cook enough or the juices didn’t thicken. Oh, well.

It turned out very well, if a little juicy. I might try cornstarch instead of flour next time so more of the juice thickens. The cream adds a little richness to the filling and it looks nice swirling among the thickened juices—I’m not sure that shows in my pics.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Crust

This pot pie uses the chicken thigh meat I cooked in my recent chicken fest. I thought about just making a chicken and biscuits casserole, but I haven’t made a pot pie in a long time and settled on that instead. My pot pies must have a double crust, not like those pseudo pies with just a top crust. I can see why you’d use just a top crust if using a deep casserole dish, but it’s just not a pie to me without a bottom crust. It’s more of a chicken cobbler, if there is such a thing.

The star of this pie is the buttermilk crust, which is pretty much a butter crust that uses buttermilk for the water that brings the dough together. I’ve seen some buttermilk crust recipes that don’t use butter, and some that riff on vinegar pie crusts, but I’m just doing a regular butter crust with the addition of whole buttermilk. It will be a little sticky and shaggy, like my favorite biscuit dough, but in the end, I find the moist doughs handle well. This one was easy to roll, came out crisp and flaky, and the egg wash made it gorgeous to look at.

Buttermilk Pie Crust

  • Servings: makes one double crust
  • Difficulty: easy if you're used to making pie crust
  • Print

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar (better in a dessert pie)

1 cup cold butter (2 sticks) cut in small cubes

1/2-3/4 cup whole buttermilk, depending on your humidity

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar if using.
  2. Cut in cold butter. I like to use my fingers to do this, which leaves little shards of flattened butter cubes and flour, but you can use a pastry cutter or food processor.
  3. Stir in buttermilk until the dough holds together but is not overly sticky. I had to use a little more than the 1/2 cup, but not quite as much as 3/4 cup.
  4. Knead the dough lightly into a fairly smooth ball, cut in half, and shape each half into an 8 inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. This dough handles well after refrigeration, not turning into a hard block that you can’t roll out easily. I have no trouble with cracks or tears in this dough, and it rolls out easily to a large circle.
  6. Roll each disc to a circle about 2 inches bigger than your pie dish. My dish was one of the old Pyrex® 9.5 inch dishes.
  7. Fit one crust into your dish, leaving the overhang. I prefer to trim the overhang of the bottom and top crusts together.
  8. Fill the crust, then add the top crust. You can see in one image that I folded the top crust in quarters and then unfolded it on top of the pie. The dough really handled well for folding.
  9. Trim the overhang evenly and to your liking, and crimp as you desire. For a savory pie, I don’t really want the fancy crimped edge, but prefer to roll under the overhang into high, fat edge.
    1. Forgot to say to brush the crust with egg wash!
  10. I baked my pie at 400° for about 45 minutes until the crust was browned and the interior was hot and bubbly. If your crusts are still very cold, and/or your filling is cold, yours might take longer, in which case you might lower the temperature to 375° after the first 15 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie Filling

  • Servings: for one pie
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Let’s just assume that you have precooked some chicken to use in such a pie. Poached chicken breasts would work as well as the thigh meat I used.

*Note that I made 3 cups of gravy, but I only used 2 cups in the pie. The remaining gravy can be served at the table.

3-4 cups cooked chicken, roughly cut in bite-sized pieces

2 cups carrots, cut in small dice, simmered for 5 minutes in the chicken stock

1 medium onion, cut in small dice

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup whole milk or half and half

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  1. Combine the cooked chicken, carrots (note instruction to cook carrots above), and frozen peas in a large bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Stir flour and seasonings into butter/onion mixture, stirring until all lumps are removed. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
  4. Slowly pour in chicken stock and milk, stirring continuously. Stir over medium heat until thickened.
  5. Add gravy to filling mixture, one cup at a time, until you feel the filling is at the right consistency, without being soupy. As noted, I used 2 cups of the gravy.
    1. If your chicken mixture was made ahead and has been refrigerated, you might need to warm it in the gravy a little before adding the frozen peas. You don’t want to add a super hot filling to the crust, nor a very cold one.
  6. Follow the crust directions above to fill and bake the pie.