Buttermilk Pie

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It was a sad day in the Roadfood world when Dodd’s Town House of Indianapolis closed its doors. We’ll remember it for steaks and fried chicken and great buttermilk pie. A favorite throughout the heartland and the South, buttermilk pie is a study in simplicity. There are hardly any ingredients, and it is easy to make. The only trick is to not overcook it or make the crust too brown. You want it as pale as sweet cream with a lemony zest. It will rise up in the oven as it cooks, then deflate as it cools. It is best served slightly warm, less than an hour out of the oven, and especially good when dolloped with fresh whipped cream.

dough for a one-crust 9-inch pie
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmegPreheat oven to 425 degrees.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a pie pan with the dough. Prick the dough with a fork and press a piece of aluminum foil snugly into the pan, covering the dough. Bake 6 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 6 minutes more, until the edges of the crust turn pale brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool.

Mix together the sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs, then the melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and bake at 425 degrees 10 minutes. Sprinkle top with nutmeg. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean. Remove the pie from the oven and cool. The center will deflate as the pie cools. Leftover pie can be refrigerated.

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