Buttermilk Pie and Hee Haw Nights


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“You’re only spending one night, Katy”

“But PLEASE Mama, can’t I just spend ten nights?”

“Oh Katy” I said, in an exaggerated voice “We’d just miss you SO MUCH if you were gone more than one!”

This was a recent conversation we had on the way to take Katy to spend the night at my mama’s house. My kids don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I’d like with my parents because they live a pretty good bit away from us and I understood her excitement completely. There really is something magical about Grandparents.

We used to beg to spend the night with my grandparents. Grandmama, Grandaddy, and my great grandmother Lela all lived in one house when we were kids and getting to spend a Saturday night at their house was like hitting the jackpot for us for  many reasons but the two main ones were:

  1. We were, of course, the center of their universe the entire time we were there and getting to be the center of the universe of these three people was about as good as it gets
  2. Saturday night was Hee Haw night!

My rambling  today actually is related in a roundabout way to the recipe. ‘Course, I could just get right to the point, describe the dish, and give you the recipe, but wheres the fun in that?

My grandparents used to love ice cold buttermilk and though we scoff at drinking it these days (most folks going for whole or “sweet” milk as they used to call it), I can fully see why it would have been a treat long ago. You know how kids today like sour things, candy and even drinks? I can see how a child of the depression would look forward to a cold glass of rich, sour buttermilk the same way.

Me and My Grandaddy

On those special Saturday nights, we’d eat supper at their large table and then head on into the den as Grandmama made us glasses of milk (sweet milk for us, buttermilk for them) to crumble our cornbread into and eat with a spoon. I’d curled up next to my Grandaddy on the couch, his arm draping naturally around me once he finished his cornbread. We’d watch Buck Owens and Minnie Pearl, giggling and singing the PFFT! You Were Gone song when it came on as my grandparents acted like they had no idea what was coming up. The little jokes told in the cornfield had us laughing hysterically (kids are so much more easily impressed with jokes) and then they’d get down to the picking and a grinning, one of Grandaddy’s favorite parts of the show. “I’ma pickin’ – and I’ma grinnin’!”

I’d give anything to be able to have one more Saturday night at Grandmama and Grandaddy’s house in good old Huntsville, Alabama.

But life has changed and I’ve grown up. Hee Haw doesn’t show on any of my channels anymore and Grandaddy isn’t here to wrap his arm around me. Tomorrow I’m going to New York city for the first time in my life, to meet with my publishers and several people who are working behind the scenes on my book .  I bet Granddaddy is tickled at how a few  stories and recipes from the days of milk and cornbread have ended up with me flying to New York and having a book published. (Note, this post was written in 2010, to see the post about how my New York Trip went, click here.)

I’ll be gone almost four full days and during that time my kids are going to get to spend the night with their grandmama and granddaddy, which makes my heart a little less sick over leaving them and puts a smile on my face at the memories I know they’ll be creating. I bet they won’t have milk and cornbread but I think I’ll make some first thing when I get back. Maybe I’ll even pull up a little Hee Haw on Youtube and teach them the words to “You Were Gone”. (There is actually a video of me and my friend Terri singing this with the kids here)

With that bit of nostaliga, here is a classic Southern recipe for you. Simple yet delicious, with our beloved buttermilk as the headlining ingredient. I’ll save ya a slice, Grandaddy.

buttermilk pie ingredients

You’ll need: Sugar, Buttermilk, Vanilla, Eggs, Flour, and Butter or Margarine.

You also need a little lemon juice but I don’t have any right now so we’re making do without it. I’ll put it in the ingredient list down in the recipe though. I really prefer making do to making a special trip to the grocery store. That’s how folks did it in the old days anyway.

A little cinnamon is nice for the top, but not required.

You’ll also need an unbaked pie shell.

I am using my mix in the pan pie crust recipe here but you can just buy one if you like.

Place your butter or margarine in a mixing bowl with the sugar

buttermilk pie fluffy sugar butter

Beat until light and fluffy

Add in your milk

(and lemon juice if you have it)

add in your flour

and eggs and vanilla

Here eggie eggie eggie!

You know I’m still aching for a chicken coop. One of these days we’re gonna have to move out of the city limits. ~sighs~

Mix that up well.

and pour in your pie shell (or pie crust)

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Bake for about forty minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Note: This pie will be a little jiggly in the middle but as it cools it will set.

I prefer to serve mine cold. This has a very simple and light taste, its perfect to serve with berries or fruit.

It’s also pretty if you sprinkle each slice with a little confectioner’s sugar like I did in this photo.

I’ve never made this pie with Splenda but you can substitute that for the sugar if you like, just remember to measure it out light and fluffy, and remove a tablespoon or two so that you are using a weeee bit less Splenda than sugar, this will help avoid the artificially sweetened taste. Another sugar substitute that I’ve tried recently is one called Ideal Sweetener. I absolutely cannot tell the difference between that one and real sugar AND you can even bake with it. I’m having a hard time finding it in my area but you can visit their website to find out where they may have it near you. It is the closest thing to real sugar I have ever tasted (without being real sugar).

Buttermilk Pie
  • Unbaked 9 inch pie shell (or make your own with this recipe)
  • ½ Cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1½ Cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling over the top, if desired
  1. In mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add in all remaining ingredients. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, if desired. Bake at 350 for forty minutes. Let cool and store in refrigerator.


When was the last time you…

Had a spoon and egg race?

Saw how many cotton balls you could transfer to a bowl using only a glob of Vaseline on the tip of your nose?

Touched the sky with your toes?


Picked out your favorite freckle on the face of someone you love?

Aren’t you overdue?

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    ~Robert Frost
    Submit your quote here.


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  1. Sheila says

    Too late I am seeing this or it would have been breakfast! Oh, well, now it can be dessert for supper. Yes, I am from the south and we have lunch a noon and supper after 6. Dinner is that formal invitation or what we have on Sunday!
    Have a great day everyone!

    • Linda in Saskatchewan says

      Do you currently use another gluten free flour for her?
      I mix together the following and use it for any thing you would use normal flour for – and the rest of the family doesn’t know the difference !

      3 cups gluten-free flour blend (or 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour, 1 cup white rice flour and 1 cup tapioca flour)

      Most grocery stores now sell GF flour but you may have to check where they stock it in the store

  2. DebbyC says

    my son loves buttermilk pie….so I’ve been looking for a tried and true recipe. Thanks Christy!

    oh and I can’t remember the last time I had a egg/spoon race, but I’ll get on a swing any chance I can get and last weekend I ate cotton candy until I nearly turned pink!

  3. Kathy L says

    Christy,Hee Haw reruns are on RFDTV every Friday night. I know because my husband never misses watching it. I’m a Granmama to 8 grandchildren and I would love for them to spend all summer with me if I could talk their parents into it. No such luck. Their mama would miss them too much also.I have wonderful memories of my grandmother and I hope that I am making great memories for my grandchildren. Hope to make your Buttermilk Pie soon. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  4. Joan G says

    Hi, Christy! LOVE your website and the many delicious sounding recipés. I also love the monologue that you give throughout your l step-by-step instructions. You have a wonderful, infectious sense of humour. I miss that great Hee Haw show too. One of the special comedians from that show is grandaddy to three of our grandkids. Our oldest daughter has three kids and their Dad was Gordie Tapp’s son. He was called ‘Conkie’ by the kids. Still don’t know where that moniker comes from.

  5. Melissa P says

    Knew you were just a little whippersnapper! My oh MY, Christy, I’d just hate to tell you how old I was when Hee Haw was current. Junior Samples’ family lived on one of the roads I commuted on when I worked in Atlanta. Such fond memories!

    Thank you so much for the buttermilk pie recipe! I just love good buttermilk, but my dear hubby won’t touch it. End up makin’ lots of cornbread and pancakes so it doesn’t go bad. (Hubby wonders how you can tell if buttermilk’s turned ;)) This gives me another option!

  6. Von Jenkins says

    Buttermilk pie is my favorite pie ever. Anytime I mention it to friends, the first thing they do is turn their noses up! But when I make one, after their first bite, their hooked! I also make Buttermilk Ice Cream! It’s awesome! Got that recipe from Paula Deen! I keep buttermilk on hand all the time. There is so many good things to make, using buttermilk, and it’s so good to drink as well! Thanks for the post!

  7. Pamela Stevens says

    Oh Christy, how much I wish I could have had the memories of grandparents that you do. Mine were all gone before my birth in 1958. I would be so upset every year at the holidays as my friends would all talk about going to their grandparents homes and then talk about it all after the holidays. They all felt so bad for me that I didn’t have that in my life. I had and still have my precious Aunt Helen. She and my Uncle Roy (who passed away in 2007) were my special “family” that were always there for me and my younger sister on holidays, but as great as they were, they were not grandparents.

    My husband and I have one precious just turned 3 yr old grandson, Lucas (our son’s baby) whom we just adore. I try to be the best gramma to him possible, but not having a gramma as an example, I sometimes wonder if I am doing all I can. Lucas wants to call us all the time. My son will call and say, “Mom, can you talk to Lucas?” He calls my husband Baco, because he couldn’t pronounce grandpa when he was younger.

    Hold tight to your memories and as much as you will miss Katy, let her spend time making those memories with her grandma. I wish I had some.

    God bless you and your family,


  8. Jennifer says

    Another winner. Came home yesterday afternoon and read your email. Went straight to the kitchen and mixed a buttermilk pie up. UMMMM good! Shared it with a friend who said she had not had it in years. Her husband had never had one but says it is right up there on his list of favorites now. Thanks for sharing! (By the way, all my in-laws are from Huntsville, AL.)

  9. christy says

    I introduced my mom to your website this weekend. We made the pie and pie shell ( so easy). She had a pint of fresh buttermilk she had just bought to go with her cornbread. I finished the last piece the next day for breakfast. Shh,…dont tell my kids ;)

  10. Amy G. says

    My grandfather (Papa) ate cornbread with a glassful of buttermilk every Saturday night until he went home to be with Jesus two years ago. He ate them together with a spoon just like you described. We used to wrinkle up our noses and he would grin and say, “Mmm mmm mmm! ” Grandma was always busy preparing her usual Sunday feast while he enjoyed his Saturday supper routine he had been eating since childhood. This post made me cry a little over those memories of my precious Papa.

  11. Kelly H. says

    Thanks for the info Kathy! We have Comcast cable since we’re renters and cannot have a satellite dish. We’d have to have permission from our landlord to have satellite, which she isn’t going to give us since having a satellite dish is against our association rules. I’ll have to check out the Northern Virginia lineup for Comcast. I know we get a bunch of channels that we hardly ever watch!

  12. Imogene Biggs says

    I just wanted to thank you for the excellent way to make iced coffee. I know this isn’t the issue it should be on, but hope you get the comment anyway. I tried it and this morning , I have to say it was great. Will save me a bunch of money also, those in the store would break a bank eventually. Who knew , so simple and so easy A BIG THANKS AGAIN !

  13. Sherrye says

    THANKS FOR MAKING ME CRY! Yep, ya actually made me cry. My “Pawpaw” passed away when I was 13 but you described how I used to spend my Saturday nights… sitting in the living room with Papaw and Granny eating cornbread and milk and watching Hee Haw. I used to schedule appointments for Papaw to call my Mom and invite me over… because I got in trouble if I invited myself… (Momma said that when i invited myself it was rude) so i would sneak and call Papaw and tell him to call and ask Mom if I could spend the night… it was our little secret! :) Thanks for bringing back a precious memory that I haven’t taken the time to savor in a very long time.
    My parents sang in a gospel quartet when i was growing up and instead of dragging my brothers and sister out every weekend we got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. My Papaw was the greatest Papaw in the world and i still miss him 30 years later and I hope he would be proud of me today. :)

  14. Taterbug says

    I am so plumb tickled. My husband likes this pie!!! And he doesn’t like buttermilk!!! But really, the pie doesn’t end up tasting like buttermilk at all. It’s just sweet and creamy, and I can’t wait to try it with berries. I’m planning to make this every time I buy buttermilk for cornbread. Thanks Christy! :)

  15. Marylyn says

    I have been making buttermilk pie for about thirty years — won the local pie tasting contest hands down with it three years ago — take it to our annual church’s turkey dinner each year (two big pies) and always hear some kind of good comment about it afterwards. Maybe I better make one or two for our local Thanksgiving Community Dinner sponsored by my favorite cousin — but always have to make one for hubby, too. I have never put cinnamon on it or pwd sugar either but the pwd sugar makes it very pretty.

  16. glena says

    I have this pie in the oven now but have a question. Does it looks kinda like it’s gonna seperate on you even after you’ve mixed it really really good? I just went ahead and poured it in the pie shell, I hope it turns out OK.

  17. Hannah Crume says

    We love buttermilk pie and my husband will be so delighted with this surprise dessert I will fix tonight. It reminds us of days when our Moms made this delicious dessert. We have 1 place here that serves it Moonlight Barbecue, I usually eat dessert first when we go there to eat

  18. Margaret Roy says

    Hi Christy! Buttermilk Pie is one of our traditional Thanksgiving deserts, but when someone new joins the family we don’t tell them the name of the desert til after they eat it. Then they always like it so good the can’t turn up their nose at the thought of “Ugh, Buttermilk.” Course, being in my 70s I was one of the generation who relished fresh buttermilk and cornbread for supper.

    BTW, you do know you can substitute vinegar for lemon juice in this recipe! I have often done it and it is really good!

  19. Sharon Carson says

    Hi Christy! I hope your book tour is going well, and I will pray for safe travels for you, so you get back home to your babies. I loved your post! My brothers and I used to watch Hee Haw on Saturday nights with our parents too! What a funny show. I had totally forgotten about the “PFFT – you were gone” song! My favorite is the “Rumors” song. “Oh you’ll never hear one of us repeating gossip…… so you better be sure and listen close the first time!” Oh, that was fun! I don’t know exactly what year you were born, but we must be pretty close in age, because I saw one of your other posts in which you spoke about that classic teen age wonder-product, AquaNet hairspray… I shoulda bought stock in that company way back, I’d probably be a millionaire….too funny. Anyway, did you watch Wonder Woman ? That was another 70’s favorite of mine. Thanks for the walk down memory lane! You and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and keep the recipes comin’. I plan to make your sweet potato creme brulee this year. “Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper?” LOL!

  20. Jeanna says

    Thanks for the Hee Haw memories! I used to love watching that show as a kid and my dad’s favorite thing for me to cook is your Dixie Cornbread where he takes all that’s leftover along with the buttermilk so he can pornit over the crumbled cornbread! Good post today, made me smile : )

  21. Maisey Humphrey says

    Wow! What memories this post brought back! I loved going to my Mama and Papa’s on Saturday nights. They lived a couple hours away but we visited once a month or so. We always had a “mess” of beans and cornbread and buttermilk. Then we watched HeeHaw. Makes my heart ache a little. How I miss those days and them. Thanks for some great memories. Pie looks great too, by the way :)

  22. Lydia Latsay says

    Hi Christy,
    Wow, pie, pie and more pie lol. I have never had Buttermilk Pie but it sounds so good and by all the previous comments that is the first one I “Have” to make. I can’t wait to try it. What do you think if I sprinkled a little sugar on the top after it is baked, and torch it like a creme brulé? I was just thinking maybe I would make one regular size pie and just for fun a little one in a 3 inch pie pan. Thanks again for the great stories and all the great recipes.
    Here is my quote, can’t remember where I found it but I liked it Hope you do to..
    Life is not measured by the breaths you take,
    But by those that take your breath away….


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