How to make Jerrelle Guy's bruleed buttermilk pie

21st Mar 18 | Lifestyle

If you love creme brulee and pastry, this is for you.


“My great-aunt Doris recently shared her buttermilk pie recipe with me over the phone. I swore something got lost in translation when a cup of melted margarine pooled to the top, burning the sugar and eggs in the pie. It reminded me of crème brûlée,” explains US food blogger and cookery book writer, Jerrelle Guy.

“I remembered cracking the surface of my very first pot of crème brûlée. A gentle whack from my spoon’s edge, and the sugar split like an eggshell, revealing underneath it the smoothest custard I’d ever eaten. Now, great anticipation builds in me right before splitting hard sugar, right before I hear that subtle ‘tkk…’, and I knew I needed to add that sound to this recipe.”

Let's play a game of spot the cat who is always waiting around for me to drop some food on the floor.👇🏾 Boy, you don't want this onion! These days I live in the kitchen, recipe testing and then running over to my comp desk to write down notes and thoughts, then coming straight back to the kitchen to experiment some more. It's my playground, but I'll admit it's been hard for me to juggle everything sometimes. If you're curious about the chalkboard (happy no numbers had been written down when this picture was taken!) we write things up there to remind us of what we need to be focusing on, and right now Eric and I are trying to focus more on our physical health. Just keeping tabs on it a little better. We've both put on weight over the past year because of stress and recipe testing, me, skipping my runs when I shouldn't, working from home or at the computer and falling out of some good physical habits I'd built. It happens. So we're just trying to be more aware and take back some control. Ultimately it's not about the numbers, but how we feel, and we know we could be doing a lot better with releasing old energy and stress from our bodies on the regular. #easingbackintoit

A post shared by Jerrelle Guy (@chocolateforbasil) on


(Makes one 23cm pie)

For the pastry:
120g whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
1/2tsp salt
84g cold butter, cut into
1.3cm cubes
45ml cold buttermilk

For the filling:

355ml buttermilk
75g cane sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp salt
30g plain flour

For the top layer:
72g cane sugar
Fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Buttermilk pie from Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy (Jerrelle Guy/PA)
(Jerrelle Guy/PA)


1. To make the pie crust, in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then toss in the cubes of cold butter to coat. Using your thumb and index finger, squish the pieces of butter to flatten, and continue to break the butter up until 50% of the butter is crumbly, but not completely uniform in texture; you want there to be chickpea-size nuggets of butter still present. Add the cold buttermilk one tablespoon at a time, blending and gathering the mixture with your hands until a dough is formed. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.

2. To make the filling, add the buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, salt and flour to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Let the filling rest while the dough chills. Have your pie dish ready.

3. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of greaseproof paper into a 50cm round. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin to help ease it into the pie dish, then crimp the edges into a pattern with your fingers or a fork. Place the crust in the freezer to harden for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and position a rack in the center of the oven. Remove the unbaked crust from the freezer and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the pie turns light golden brown. Remove from the oven and pour in the filling mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the centre is set and doesn’t jiggle when shaken. Remove from the oven. I like to serve mine warm from the oven, but if you’d prefer it chilled, place it in the fridge for at least two hours or until ready to serve.

5. For the top layer, when it’s time to serve, add the sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar begins to brown and bubble. Swirl the pan to help any uncooked sugar liquify and cook for a few more seconds, then pour it out over the cold buttermilk pie. Working quickly, carefully tilt the pie dish to evenly distribute the browned sugar over the top. Allow to cool and harden for about five minutes, and serve immediately by cracking the top and slicing. Top with fresh berries, if desired.

Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy (Jerrelle Guy/PA)
(Jerrelle Guy/PA)

Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy is published by Page Street Publishing, priced £16.99. Available now.

© Press Association 2018