Pumpkin pie is a staple in my home not only during Thanksgiving, but all throughout the fall season. The warm flavors of pumpkin pie spice and the creamy texture of squash-enriched pie are practically synonymous with autumn. As much as I enjoy a classic pumpkin pie, I also enjoy the many forms that it can take, from Maple Pumpkin Pie to my Two-Layer Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake. This particular version of the classic combines pumpkin pie with buttermilk pie – another traditional pie that is a Thanksgiving favorite for many – to make Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie.
The filling for this pie comes together very easily and can be whisked up in a bowl with nothing more than a hand whisk, no special equipment necessary. I do recommend you take a moment to sift out any large clumps of brown sugar so you don’t end up with any lumps in your pie. Buttermilk is added where regular milk or evaporated milk typically are used, adding a tangy, buttery flavor that really works well with the pumpkin. You can pour your filling into an unbaked pastry crust (or a par-baked crust, for those who like extra-crispy crusts!!) or a baked and cooled graham cracker crust. I’m partial to a pastry shell for this particular pie myself.
The pie is creamy and full of both warm spices and pumpkin flavor. It has a hint of buttermilk, which gives the pie a little depth and makes it slightly less sweet than traditional pumpkin pies. I almost always top my pumpkin pies with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, so this slight contrast works exceptionally well for me. The pie should be refrigerated before serving because it will continue to set as it chills, and a chilled pie will be the easiest to slice neatly and serve.
Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie
dough for one 9-inch pie crust
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425F.
Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface and press it into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute the edge, as desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk. Pour mixture through a fine strainer and into the prepared pie shell.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425F. Lower oven temperature to 350F and bake for 35-40 minutes, until pie is set and jiggles only slightly when pan is gently tapped.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.