Low in fat, high in protein, and super versatile, buttermilk has long been one of Martha’s secret-weapon ingredients in the kitchen. It plays an essential role in her pancakes, biscuits, cornbread, fried chicken, and so much more. But Martha’s new favorite way to use buttermilk? In a pie! On the latest episode of Martha Bakes, Martha makes an exquisite buttermilk pie with her longtime friend Sara Foster, a North Carolina-based chef and cookbook author. Sara’s recipe for this traditional Southern delicacy comes from her mother, and it’s definitely a keeper.
The recipe starts with the flakiest, most tender piecrust, thanks to a magical combination of butter, shortening, vinegar, and sugar, and ups the ante with a spiced custard filling. Tangy buttermilk is teamed with a fragrant mixture of nutmeg, cardamom, and vanilla bean, then baked in the crust until the top is crackly and the custard beneath wobbles just so—think crème brûlée. Martha isn't stopping there—she's also baking with two other cultured dairy products in her fridge: crème fraîche and yogurt. Get a sneak peek at the recipes below, and don't forget to tune in this weekend.
It's important not to make the crust for this pie in advance; it should still be warm when you pour in that luscious spiced buttermilk filling.
Pistachio-Rhubarb Yogurt Cake
Is it spring yet? Bookmark this recipe for when rhubarb hits the market, then roast the ephemeral pink stalks to crown this unbelievably moist yogurt cake. Ground pistachios in the batter add just the right amount of crunch.
Tangy crème fraîche enriches the filling of this streusel-topped plum pie without weighing it down. It also offsets the sweetness of the fruit perfectly.
Martha Bakes season 11 airs on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).