Buttermilk Tart

I know many of you are looking for savory dishes for Thanksgiving, but since I am new to blogging, I don't have the dishes made with photos.  Don't worry, we have next year to look forward to!  Fortunately, I do have another sweet tart to share because my little one is having a Thanksgiving feast at school today and I was asked to bring in a pie/tart.  She requested this one.

I have had this recipe since 1993 back when I didn't have my own kitchen.  Heck, I was still in high school!  No teen magazines for me-- just cookbooks (and maybe a few Martha Stewart magazines).  That will give you some insight into my long love affair with food. 

This is a Buttermilk Pie recipe from Lee Baily.  It is a year round favorite in our house.  In the Spring/Summer, I serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, berries, or both.  In the Fall/Winter, I serve it with just a dollop of whipped cream and pinch of cinnamon or all by its delicious self.  Whenever I serve this tart to friends or family, I am always asked for the recipe.

In recent years, it has become a staple on our Thanksgiving dessert table.  Don't get me wrong,  we love our pumpkin pie, deep-dish apple pie, and pecan pie, but after a big heavy meal those desserts are just too filling.  This tart is simple, light and oh, so tasty!  It really satisfies that post meal sweet tooth without it being too much.  My children were just asking the other week, "Mom, are you going to make The Buttermilk Tart this year!" Yes, yes I am:)  

From the original recipe, I reduced the amount of ingredients so the filling wouldn't over flow.  The other changes I made  are the pastry dough and the pie plate.  I love my tart crust and I love tarts.  So for me, it is a Buttermilk Tart!

When there are several 6 years olds that dig into the slice of buttermilk pie before the chocolate pie...that certainly has to tell you something!  

Cutest pilgrim ever!
Printable Recipe

Buttermilk Tart
serves 8

For the tart dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
9 tablespoons (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra large egg

For the filling
3 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup+2 tablespoons  unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the tart dough
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a  lightly floured work surface roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough (let the kids practice their baking skills with the scraps).  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Line the tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  Place on a rack to cool completely.  Increase the oven temperature to 425º.

For the filling
Place the cooled tart shell still in the tart pan on a baking sheet.

Beat yolks and sugar until light and lemony in color.  Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture.  Mix in butter.  Dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk and add to the egg mixture.  Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. 

 Pour into the prebaked tart shell and bake for 8 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350º and bake for another 40 minutes or until the tart is set.  Cool completely.  The filling will fall.  Serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh berries or both.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from here, tart crust adapted from here


  1. Love the recipe and love that little pilgrim :)

  2. always wanted to try buttermilk pie...looks good...

  3. This looks yummy! How far in advance can this be made? I'd like to try it for Christmas.

  4. Pam-
    Thanks for the great questions.
    You can make the tart dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight freezer bag for up to 6 months. Then thaw it out in the refrigerator before using. The tart with the filling can be made 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Just bring it to room temperature before serving.

  5. I made this tart last night and all I can say is "yum"! I added some extra meyer lemon zest and it is delicious! However, I ended up making it with my usual tart dough recipe. I was surprised to find the ingredient list was practically the same except my recipe uses granulated sugar as opposed to powdered sugar. I'll certainly have to try your recipe sometime to taste the difference.

  6. Miranda-
    I am so pleased you enjoyed the tart! I already have my tart dough in the freezer so I can make it after our turkey dinner next week:P Thank you for taking the time to let me know:)


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