This recipe for old-fashioned buttermilk chess pie is perfect for fall. A Southern favorite!
Old-Fashioned Chess Pie with a Buttermilk Pie Crust
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 50 mins
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour I love King Arthur brand
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ thick squares
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk plus 2 to 3 tablespoons more as needed
  • 1 whole egg for a crust wash
For the pie filling:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract use a good, high quality vanilla
For the pie crust:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. I like to smear the butter into the flour by rubbing it in between by thumb and fingers. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture; some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Place the flour mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes, along with the buttermilk for the pie crust.
  2. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits - you may add up to 3 additional tablespoons of buttermilk if your dough is dry,
  3. Transfer the dough mixture to a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently form the dough into one mound - it will look a bit shaggy. Divide the dough mound into two disks and wrap each in a sheet of plastic wrap. Place one in the refrigerator for one hour and freeze the other for the next time a pie craving hits! While your dough chills, place a 9’’ pie dish in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. After an hour (or longer), remove your pie dough from the refrigerator. Place on a well-floured sheet of parchment paper. Using a floured rolling pin, carefully roll the dough out into an 11’’ circle. Use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour from the dough once it is rolled out. Place your pie dish on top of the circle, then carefully use the parchment to flip the dough into the pie dish. Tuck the overhang of the pie dough up and under the dough that is on the edge of your pie pan see photo above). This will make a fuller crust. Crimp the dough in a shape of your liking and place the pan in the refrigerator while you make the pie filling.
For the pie filling:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for several minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt by stirring with a whisk. The mixture will be very thick. Whisk in the butter until just combined. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, whisking until just combined and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Remove the prepare pie crust from the refrigerator. Pour the filling into the crust. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the edges of the pie crust with a lightly beaten egg.
  5. Place the pie on baking sheet and put it on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 50-70 minutes until the filling is set - you will know it’s done when it barely jiggles in the center. After 50 minutes, you may want to add a pie ring or aluminum foil strips around the edge of your crust to keep it from turning too brown.
  6. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool in the dish for 30-40 minutes before serving. It’s delicious served warm, room temperature, or chilled!