The first time I made this Chocolate Buttermilk Pie, it cracked down the middle just minutes after it came out of the oven. I have a history of making ugly pies (my motor skills leave something to be desired), but a giant crescent-shaped crater was a little much, even for me.
Once that pie cooled though, I cut a sliver for myself and promptly fell in love. What’s not to love about soft, fudgy chocolate filling baked into a flaky pie crust?! Nevertheless, I couldn’t post a cracked pie on here and expect any of you to come back ever again. Lucky for you, I have plenty of pie dough in my fridge this time of year and entirely too much time on my hands 😉
It all starts with room temperature ingredients. I recommend using room temperature ingredients in many of the recipes on this site, but it’s especially important in custard pies like this one. Cold ingredients just don’t incorporate and bake the way their room temperature counterparts do.
Eggs, in particular, should almost always be room temperature. They provide tons of structure in baking–in this recipe, they do nearly all the heavy lifting! I bring my eggs to room temperature by letting them sit in a bowl of hot tap water for five minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
The buttermilk needs to be room temperature, too. You can measure it out and let it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes, or you can speed up the process by microwaving it in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until it no longer feels cold to the touch.
Mix your room temperature eggs and buttermilk together with some vanilla and a tiny bit of flour. Whisk that into a chocolaty combination of cocoa, sugar, butter, and salt that’s been bloomed* together on the stove.
*Note: for more on blooming, click here.
Roll out a (chilled! Not room temperature!) pie crust and fit it in a pie plate. Crimp the edges and dock it with a fork before pouring in the filling. Bake it on the bottom rack of a 375F oven for 50 minutes, until puffed at the edges.
Turn off the oven, crack the door open, and let the pie sit for 10-15 minutes. This allows the pie to finish baking and begin cooling without any major changes in temperature. Don’t skip this step! This is the last step in insuring that your pie stays in one piece. Once time is up, let the pie cool on a rack before slicing and serving. Preferably with ice cream.
I know Pumpkin Pie is king this time of year, but this Chocolate Buttermilk Pie just might steal the spotlight at your Thanksgiving celebration! I’ve given slices of this pie to fifteen of my friends and every last one of them wanted more. All that’s to say, you might need to make two of these.
Chocolate Buttermilk Pie
makes one 9-inch pie
1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Roll out the pie dough, and fit it in the pan. Cut it to 1/2-inch of overhang, then fold the excess under and crimp. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place the prepared crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Position a rack in the bottom third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Combine butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, remove from heat–mixture will be thick and grainy. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add buttermilk and vanilla, followed by flour. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture in two installments, whisking until combined.
Place prepared crust on Pour filling into prepared crust.
To make egg wash, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Paint egg wash over any exposed crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until filling is puffed at the edges. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Let pie sit in oven for 10-15 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.