It's amazing what you can do with basic pantry ingredients. Here, buttermilk is spiced with cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla, then baked in a flaky piecrust until custardy and fragrant. This recipe comes from cookbook author (and Martha's longtime friend) Sara Foster, who learned it from her mother.





Instructions Checklist
  • Crust: In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea- to almond-size pieces of butter and a few larger chunks remaining (work quickly so that butter and shortening remain cold).

  • In a small bowl, beat egg with 1/3 cup water and vinegar. Pour egg mixture around edges of flour mixture while working it in with a fork, just until dough starts to clump together. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Do not overmix. Lightly dust your hands and work surface with flour. Turn dough out onto surface and press it together. Divide dough in half, shape each half into a flat disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

  • Place one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface (reserve remaining disk for another use). If dough is too firm, let stand 5 to 10 minutes before rolling. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out dough into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Brush off any excess flour after rolling. Fold dough in half or gently roll it up around rolling pin and lift to place in a 9-inch pie dish. Press dough lightly into bottom and up sides of dish. Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim to a 1/2-inch overhang; fold under. Crimp edges as desired. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Cover with plastic. Refrigerate or freeze at least 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in center and lower third. Line dough with parchment, pressing it into corners and edges; fill with dried beans or rice. Bake on lower rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove beans or rice and parchment; bake on center rack until golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and immediately brush very lightly with egg white. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

  • Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat butter and vanilla seeds over low, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Add butter mixture to sugar mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk until smooth and well blended.

  • Pour filling into warm crust. Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet; bake on center rack, rotating halfway through, until filling is set around edges but wobbles slightly in center when gently shaken, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool at least 1 hour before serving.