Buttermilk Hand Pies

I am throwing a small party this weekend, but I had to start some of my baking early, because I certainly can’t do it all in one day! My knees start to give out after standing in the kitchen for one too many hours, and I get…well…cranky, to say the least. I would never make it as a line cook, I’ll say that much. So, due to my inability to power through a full day of baking and cooking, I made these pies last weekend, froze them, and then I plan to simply throw them on a baking sheet and heat them through before my guests arrive. I hope I’m not the only one who does this – I really do, because nobody should have to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday and start sweating it out in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, though; I love throwing parties. It’s an excuse to try out some new recipes, to shake up some fun cocktails, and, of course, to put together a playlist (even though I’ve mostly been listening to the same bands for the past 10 years – when did I get so old?). I’m excited to throw one or two more get togethers before the summer heat makes it unbearable to do so; in New York, between the humidity, heat, and lack of central air, mid-summer house parties make me want to rip my hair out. Thankfully, the weather has been beautiful and breezy all week and will supposedly continue to be that way into the weekend.

I always find that when throwing a party, it’s easiest to pick a food theme in order to organize your shopping list and come up with a coherent menu. The theme doesn’t have to be obvious to your guests – there is nothing I despise more than a non-Halloween costume party – but it always proves to be tremendously helpful when I am sitting at home trying to figure out what kind of tasty, finger-food-friendly, not-too-messy things to serve. I settled on these buttermilk hand pies, as they are small enough to fit in your hand, perfectly compact, and absolutely delicious. I rarely buy real buttermilk; I never remember and the old lemon juice or vinegar mixed with milk usually does the trick, but trust me: get real buttermilk for this recipe. You want to be able to taste that tangy, sweet flavor in the custard filling, as well as in the crust! These little pies are soft and tender, and go well with everything from a cup of tea to an IPA, plus they require very few ingredients and come together in no time at all. Sometimes the best things are the most simple things, as these pies most certainly prove.


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Whisk together your flour and sugar, then cut the cubed butter in until pea-sized crumbs form.

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Slowly pour in your buttermilk and combine until the dough forms a ball. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, just to get it nice and cold.

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Roll the dough out and cut out circles that are a bit bigger than the size of your muffin cup tins.

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Make your filling by whisking together your ingredients until smooth.

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Place your pie dough in each muffin cup, and fill 2/3 of the way full with your filling. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until set and slightly golden.

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Allow to cool completely, then pop out of your muffin tins.

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Serve and enjoy.

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Buttermilk Hand Pies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 24
 

Ingredients
For the Crust:
  • 2⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 10-11 tablespoons ice cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions
  1. First, make your crust. Whisk together the flour and sugar, then add in the cubed butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter or your hands, until pea-sized crumbs form. Add in the buttermilk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes, just to get it nice and cold.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Divide your dough into 2 pieces, then lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out to about ⅛-inch thick. Lightly grease your pans and cut the dough into circles a bit bigger than your muffin cups. Place the circles of dough into your muffin cups, crimping the edges as necessary. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you make the filling.
  3. To make the filling, simply whisk together your buttermilk, sugar, flour, butter, and eggs, then divide them among your miniature pies. I put about 2-3 teaspoons of filling in for each pie. Bake the pies on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the crust is slightly golden and the filling is set. Allow them to cool in the pans, then pop them out and serve. These will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

 

16 Responses

  1. I have never heard of buttermilk pie but these are so freaking cute! Who doesn’t love handheld desserts?

  2. Jane M says:

    1. You really need to buy from Bed and Bath 1 of those GEL mats to stand on in the kitchen. I did a few years back and it changed my life in the kitchen!
    2. I’m having friends for dinner tonight and I started cooking LAST NIGHT! I always try and get some things out of the way.
    3. I don’t mind cooking the day of – I just sometimes get a bit nervous I won’t get it all done – WHICH I ALWAYS DO – but still, WORRY is my MIDDLE NAME!
    4. I just love when my guests RAVE and always want to come back to our home to break bread!

    Enjoy your par-tay!

  3. Lisa says:

    are you using mini muffin pans or regular sized muffin pans?

  4. RK says:

    These look wonderful. I love the idea of making ahead & freezing….could you give a bit more details of the make-ahead instructions?

    • Sydney says:

      Thanks! Honestly, I just made them, as the recipe states, and froze them in airtight containers separated by sheets of parchment paper. When I thaw them out, I’ll probably just leave them on the counter for a few hours, then pop them in a 400 degree F oven on a cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes to get them soft and warm again.

  5. Deanna B says:

    Its like you knew I have buttermilk that needs to be used up. I always start a couple days in advance and I still always end up in the kitchen the whole day of the party.

  6. I love throwing parties too but you’re completely right, it’s just too much work to do it all in one day! The last time I tried that, I got extremely crabby and I couldn’t even enjoy my own party.

    On another note, these pies are so cute! I could stuff 100 of these in my mouth in the blink of an eye.

  7. These sound wonderful. I think that it is smart to bake ahead and freeze, it makes things easier.

  8. Rhonda says:

    Yum, your guests are lucky :) Have a great weekend.

  9. Nicole says:

    Those look great!

  10. Janie's Kitchen says:

    I am suppose to make dessert for a dinner party tomorrow. Do you think adding fresh blueberries or a fruit base jam into the filling would taste good? I love your recipe and want to make this tomorrow. Thanks!

  11. [...] handle, which is why bite-sized food is up there on my Top Ten Favorite Things Ever list. I make miniature pies pretty often, now that I think about it, but when you have people over, the last [...]

  12. Lynn Filipowicz says:

    I think these sound wonderful, I think I will add some lemon zest and lemon favor. I love the idea of make a head.always make it easy on your self so you can enjoy your guest.

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