How come no one told me that buying a house is so stressful? Well, I guess my ignorance could be based on the truth of ‘not asking’. I honestly don’t remember how many properties we’ve viewed at this point, or how many layouts we’ve scoffed at nor the times my wife has said, “Eww!” at the sight of hideous wallpapers and dirty bathrooms. No, nobody warned us, but my gosh, we’ve learned quickly. And all that late-night HGTV House Hunter watching is not necessarily the go-to if you need questions answered.
I’m learning that while looking for a home you desire some of the same characteristics that were/are present in the home you grew up in. You want to pull into the driveway and feel at home. You’d like to walk in the front door and the creak of the hinge greet you ever-so gently. You want to step foot in the room and be greeted by warm snapshots of life hanging on the walls and rays of sunlight reaching across the floor. You simply long to be at rest and to have a place worthy of providing that for you when the day is done.
Well, the search for this place continues and while I don’t want to get my hopes up. We have recently put in a bid on what I’m sure has the potential to be all those wonderful things mentioned previously. It’s the emotions of a warm slice of buttermilk pie from grandma’s windowsill. Of course, my grandmother never put pies in the windowsill, no, they were on top of the washer and dryer which sat next door to her stove in the kitchen. I remember buttermilk pie from my great grandma’s, who we affectionately called “Nanny”, like I remember walking down the hardwood steps as a child pleading for a cup of apple juice (according to my parental units).
What is it about pie that has the ability to slow the heart-rate, calm the nerves and soothe the soul? Is it that flaky crust, the warmth of that creamy or fruity filling? Or maybe it’s the warm memories that it evokes in every swift stroke of the fork? Whatever it is, its quite magical and its my desire that if you’ve never had it before this recipe will make you a believer.
Homemade Buttermilk Pie
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup whole fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
for Chocolate Buttermilk Pie:
add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon fine ground coffee (dark roast). combine with dry ingredients.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Stir in egg one at a time. Add your butter, then buttermilk, kosher salt and vanilla.
2. Pour mixture into your shell. Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until you insert a knife and it comes out clean. Allow the pie to cool and serve with coffee/milk and whipped cream. I also enjoy a dollop of lemon curd on top.
Basic Pie Dough
If I may be honest with you for a minute, as a chef I hardly ever use recipes for what I have been taught to be must-have basic kitchen staples. Like making pie dough, biscuits, “mother sauces” etc. So at the bottom of this post there is a tried and true recipe for pie dough that I have used in the past that always delivers great results.
If I were to give you my recipe, it would go something like this:
1 1/2 handfuls of flour
a smidge of kosher salt that I process in my spice grinder to break it down
a few tablespoons of ice-cold water
a few pats of chilled butter or the frozen grated stuff
1. Combine butter, salt and flour until it forms into pea-sized crumbles. add water by the tablespoon until dough holds together. Then form a ball. allow to rest for 15 minutes.
2. flour your rolling surface and pin. place ball in the center and roll until the proper circle size of your pie pan. Roll the dough on to your rolling place and unroll over buttered pie pan. tuck the dough in around the sides and trim the excess. Using a flour-ed fork press the edges of your crust or use the thumb-index finger method.
3. Prick the bottom of the dough and the inside seam a few times and bake for 4-5 minutes. I do this to ensure crispy crust from top to bottom because I hate soggy bottoms.
😀 Then carry-on with the recipe as usual.
Now, for some of you. You might be thinking, oh, that’s simple enough. But for the rest of you who tend to be right-brained organize kitchen cooks here’s the play-by-play via Williams-Sonoma Pie Dough.