I have baked many a Pies during my stay in Canada, but this is the first time I actually baked an entire Pie right from the scratch and all on my own! I must add that it was worth the effort. I am the kind of person who appreciates all the hard work if the final product pays off! Now that I have resorted to barely buying any bread since I bake at home and also the same in the Pizza Dough department, I will not get a store bought Pie crust ever again! The Buttermilk adds creaminess to the Pie and also mellows down the strong Lemony flavor, which works out perfectly 'coz the balance is just right, and it is definitely not as heavy as when you add cream so +1 on the health scale too! I used much less butter as compared to the one recommended in the recipe I followed, but it still worked out fine, especially when it serves the purpose and you're trying to watch what you eat. It's like having the best of both worlds! :)
Lemon Buttermilk Pie
Serves 8 (if they have 1 slice each which I don't think they will, so better say 4)
Recipe for Pie Crust adapted from Simply Recipes and the filling recipe adapted from About.com
For the Pie Crust:
1 cup All purpose Flour
300 gm/1/4 cup Butter, cut into pieces and chilled or frozen
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp Sugar
6 tablespoons of Cold Water
Extra Flour for dusting
For The Filling:
Zest of 2 small Lemons
Juice of 2 small Lemons
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Buttermilk (I used lesser coz anyways my filling was too runny with that so I recommend 1 cup instead of 1.5)
3/4th cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter (I used Clarified Butter/Ghee)
Ground Cinnamon for Dusting
Pie weights : you could use rice or beans or even small coins if you have many of them!
A Pie Dish.
Before you do anything. Make sure The ingredients for your Pie Crust are chilled. Especially if you're in a hot place like India. So Just make sure your cut slices of butter are in the freezer, and Flour in the fridge. I actually I added the flour, salt and sugar to my blender mug and put the entire thing in the fridge so that my equipment stays cold to. Win for portable blenders!
Preheat Oven to 420F/220C
Now you need to know that when baking Pie crusts, if you want your crust to have that nice flaky texture, you need to work fairly quickly and make sure you do not transfer the heat of your hands on to the chilled butter. The chilled butter melts in the oven and that results in a flaky crust. I would recommend washing your hands with ice cold water before you handle the dough out of the blender. Okay so moving on, Put in all the ingredients (except water) for the Pie in the blender and pulse till it looks like a coarse powder. Now add in the chilled water and pulse for another 10 seconds. The dough should be loose but still able to hold together if you form a shape. Transfer this to a surface and form it into a disc about 4 inches in diameter. DO NOT KNEAD IT! Just get it together. Something like this
Now put this in a plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Till then get your Pie dish ready. Flour your surface where you would roll the dough. Pull the refrigerated dough out after 30 minutes and lightly dust with flour. Roll it into a circle. This recipe is for a standard 9 inch Pie dish. Mine was a little wider but it worked perfectly. Roll it out to a 12 inch diameter so it can cover the sides of your dish too. gently transfer this base to the dish and press lightly to make sure it adheres to the surface and there is no air in between. Press the dough to the sides too, and seal off any holes or cuts in the structure with residual pie dough that you would trim off the edges. I am a first timer, still I managed to do it!
Now you need to blind bake this crust. Place a Parchment Paper over the crust and fill it with some pie weights so that the paper touches the whole surface of the pie base. I used rice.
Now bake this crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or till the edges of the Pie base start turning brown. Remove and let it cool. Like this.
Now on to the filling! In the blender crack in 4 eggs and sugar, and blend till Light yellow. Add in the flour and pulse. Then add in the Buttermilk, Melted Butter,Lemon juice and zest, and pulse. Add in the Vanilla and pulse some more. A lot of pulsing in here I tell you guys! 10 seconds at a time :) Well the filling's that easy!
Now for those who can handle some pressure in the kitchen, I'd recommend that you add in only 1/4th of the filling to your pie and then transfer it to your oven rack, then pour the rest, coz the filling is runny. But if you do not wanna take chances or are doing it for the first time, then just pour the filling right in there, and carefully put the pie dish in the oven without spilling the filling over or letting it go under your pre baked crust. Sprinkle with Cinnamon, that is optional but it gives a nice contrast to the flavors. Let this baby bake in the oven for 55 minutes. Check if it is cooked, and if not, give it few minutes more. Another thing you must remember is that your pie crust sides might try to go a little extra brown. At this point you could either cover your pie dish with a metal plate or else cover it with foil so that the crust does not burn and the filling gets cooked as well. Remove from the oven and let it cool before you dig in! I am so sure you guys would love this one :)
The only thing I would do different the next time... wait. No! This was perfect!!!