In my kitchen, the making of a pie signifies a milestone. I’ve yet to truly master the art of decadently flaky crust, have yet to try my hand at a peach pie, and haven’t quite gotten around to topping a pie with a light and fluffy mountain of meringue, but the times that I have made pie stick out in memory like no other dish.
The first time, for example, that I endeavored to take on a recipe from start to finish was for “LouAnn’s Classic Buttermilk Pie”. I found the recipe, written on an old, yellowed note card inside of a book from the library (romantic, right?). It called for a cookie type crust, a lot of sugar, and a lot of butter, but I couldn’t refuse my intrigue. So I set to making the crust, set to making the filling, and then set to enjoying my first from-scratch baking project that I didn’t wish to be different in any way.
There have since been other momentous pies: for birthdays, for graduations, and other celebrations, but I have a particularly significant one in mind. It’s this little beauty, which was actually the first recipe I ever made for coco+kelley; the catalyst to everything from “moldy cheese” to french toast, from Moroccan crostini to shaved brussels sprouts and all other yummy things in between.
And now, as I ready myself for a cross-continental move (!!!!) and bid au dieu to the lovely kitchen of 95 Yesler, I want to celebrate the year of crafting recipes beside Cassandra’s amazing styling and Meghan’s gorgeous photography with this momentous pie (but with a a personal twist, of course!): the buttermilk tart, topped with juicy, seasonal cherries.
I lightened up LouAnn’s recipe to make a summer tart that isn’t too sweet or heavy, where the plump cherries pop against the creamy custard filling for a truly lovely dessert. If, however, you’re looking for a true, southern buttermilk pie, increase the filling to 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk to put into a flaky pie crust.
Buttermilk Tart with Cherries // Serves 8
- 1 cup flour
- 1⁄4 cup extra fine sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
In a food processor, pulse together the sugar and flour to mix. Add the butter, and pulse a few times until clumps start to form. Then, add the egg yolk and continue pulsing until well mixed. The dough will be sandy, resembling shortbread. Collecte and form the dough into a ball, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat your over to 350F and lightly flour your work surface. When dough has cooled, roll it out to fit your tart pan. If it cracks, use a little water to “glue” the dough back together. Press the dough into the pan, dock the dough with a fork, and bake for 15 minutes with pie weights. After 15 minutes, take the crust out of the oven, remove the pie weights, and bake for another 10 minutes without weights.
- 1 cup extra fine sugar (can be reduced to 3/4 if you prefer it a little less sweet)
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg + 1 egg white, beaten
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
Have your oven heat to 325F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. As you whisk, add in buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Fill your crust with the custard, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the middle is set. Allow the tart to cool for 30-40 minutes.
- Enough cherries to cover your tart
- ½-1 tbsp honey
- optional: 1 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
Remove the pits and halve your cherries (we used about a cup and a half). Combine the cherries with honey and vanilla. Allow the fruit to sit of a bit, then place on your tart before serving.