A great alternative to regular pie. This buttermilk slab pie is baked on a buttery shortbread crust with a lemon and nutmeg custard filling.
I love buttermilk, but I’ve raved and ranted on here more than once about the large quantities it’s sold in. There is a bright side, though: if I have it in the fridge then I’m forced to make even more buttermilk recipes, like this amazing Southern Buttermilk Slab Pie.
I reached out to my Facebook community for some ideas on how to use up the last few cups that were still in the fridge, and they didn’t let me down. They came up with some amazing recipe ideas, but the most popular suggestion was to make a simple buttermilk pie. I’ve already made this version of a similar Chess Pie, so I know how good pies can taste. However, I also know that I don’t like to make repeat recipes, just like how I never watch movies a second time – I’m weird like that.
So, the only way to make a pie – without making a real pie – is to make a slab pie! Just follow the same method you would use for making a round pie. The only change is the baking pan and the time it takes to bake. Slabs will bake faster.
The result is a buttery crust topped with a nutmeg and lemon infused custard, which is easier to slice than a pie. You can just cut these into bars and serve at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar. I like my bars to have a thick pastry base but if you prefer a thinner version, just roll the dough out into a larger rectangle.
These will fly off the table so be warned, you might want to double the recipe!
They also taste great with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top!
- For The Pastry:
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ½ cup ice water
- For The Filling:
- 1 egg white
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degress F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9½ x 1 inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Gradually add the butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mix until it becomes coarse.
- Add the water in two parts mixing together and producing a ball of dough.
- Gently place the dough into a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- After the dough has rested dust the table with some flour and roll the dough out large enough to fill the pan, about ¼ to ½ inch thick covering the sides of the pan also.
- Trim the edges of the slab and stab the base of the pie with a fork.
- Place the pie shell in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes and slightly golden in color.
- Once the pie crust is done, gently glaze the base of it with the egg white.
- Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees. In a large bowl beat the eggs, cornstarch and sugar until well mixed.
- Beat in the buttermilk and melted butter alternately followed by the lemon juice, zest, nutmeg and salt.
- Place a baking stone or cookie sheet into the preheated oven.
- Pour the filling into the slab pie shell and place the pie onto a cookie sheet or baking stone.
- Bake for about 30 minutes and the top is crusted and puffy. It will still be jiggly but will firm up as it cools. It may take longer depending on the thickness of your base.
- Let cool before attempting to slice into squares. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.