Recipe : Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie with Duck Fat and Vodka Pie Crust

by Ginny on May 24, 2011

You can easily double the ingredients below to fill the two crusts that this recipe makes, or simply freeze the extra crust for later use.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, and flour and stir to combine. Add melted butter and mix well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Dust the unbaked shell lightly with flour. Pour filling into shell, and use a fine wire mesh strainer to evenly dust top of filling with a bit more flour.

Place pie on middle-rack of preheated oven. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack just below the one the pie is on, to catch any drips. Bake until top is golden and custard is set, about 1 hour. Pie may be served warm, room temperature, or chilled. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Duck Fat and Vodka Pie Crust

(makes 2 single 9-inch pie crusts)

I’m going to buck tradition here and tell you that I don’t chill the butter for my pie crusts. I find it’s much less cumbersome to cut the fat into the flour when it’s more pliable than the super cold butter most recipes prescribe. When it’s softer (but not mushy, room temp), you can even use your finger tips to work it in. It still maintains the little bits of fat that make pie crust light, flaky, and tender, and after being chilled for an hour, it rolls out easily, especially when you use the plastic wrap method outlined below.


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not chilled
  • 1/4 cup rendered duck fat (you can substitute lard)
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • Combine flour salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slice butter into pats and add to flour along with duck fat. Cut the fat into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, a food processor, or your finger tips. Continue working the fat in until the mixture resembles very coarse meal.

    Add cold water and vodka and stir just until ingredients are moistened. Divide the dough into two balls. Place each ball on a large square of plastic wrap, and flatten into circular discs, about 1-inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling. If pressed for time, you can speed the chilling process by placing in the freezer.

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