Pie [Study] Break!

I spent far long in one room today reading about obscenity (First Amendment exam Wednesday), so partway through the day I decided to go home and make a pie. Making a pie is a great way to re-take control of your life: there’s even a whole movie about it. This Kentucky cookbook I got out of the library has many, many amazing pie recipes – today my inner sassy Southern belle was particularly won over by a Buttermilk Bourbon Pie (hmm…I wonder what ingredient did that).

Two things sealed the deal: 1) the fact that this book said a 9″ full-butter and -cream pie should yield 6 servings, 2) the really bitchy intro: “This is a Kentucky specialty, but most of the recipes for it used too much flour and buttermilk. Finally I hit upon these proportions and we think the pie delicious.” I know I’ve talked about recipe culture before, and about the phenomenon of incremental improvement: this reminds me how much of that improvement is due to sheer bloody-minded competitiveness.

I used a half recipe of my new go-to Vodka Pie Crust. The filling is suuuuper easy – go on and try it for yourself! If pie intimidates you, this is a good place to start. Just channel some Southern belle resolve!

In other news, I think I’m starting to get better at this photo thing…here we have the whole pristine pie:

And an outtake! (Hopefully not blooper reel…)

Buttermilk Bourbon Pie (Serves 10! Not 6!)

1/2 recipe of your fave pie crust
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk**
3 tbsp. bourbon
Nutmeg and powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat your oven to 450. Roll out your pie crust, place it in a 9″ pan, prick the bottom a few times with a fork, and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, remove, and cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar until fluffy and light yellow (the sugar grains should have dissolved). Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, stirring a few times between additions.
3. Pour in the buttermilk, bourbon, and butter, beat until blended, and pour into the crust (don’t worry, it’s supposed to be kind of runny – it’s a custard, and will firm up in the oven).
4. Place the pie in the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes. The custard should be firm, but a little jiggly in the middle.
5. Remove from oven, cool, and dust with a mixture of nutmeg and powdered sugar.

**If you don’t have buttermilk or don’t want to buy it, you can make your own: just add 1 tbsp. white vinegar to milk and let it set for 5 minutes and it’ll curdle right up.