I was trying to empty the pantry and freezer again before our annual trek to Canada. I used up one of the two jars of honey making a great honey buckwheat spiced cake with mocha frosting for my mother-in-law’s birthday as well as Ricardo’s almond and honey tart (meh – don’t bother with that one). I also had a staggering amount of pine nuts, so I made roasted pine nut butter, which was delicious! I felt good about not wasting anything, instead of guilty for spending so much money making nut butter, so that was great, too. And as a kitchen-sink strategy that wasn’t granola or cookies, I made single serve frozen oatmeal with dried cherries, seeds, and nuts. I liked the result, as the oatmeal is frozen in a muffin tin and you can top it with whatever you want, but keep in mind that you’ll need 2 or 3 pucks of oatmeal for a decent breakfast!
I also had a premade pie crust in the freezer, so I decided to make classic buttermilk chess pie, using lactose-free milk and lemon juice in place of the buttermilk (FYI, that’s basically what you get in a commercial buttermilk carton anyway – real buttermilk is hard to come by!). This recipe has you place the pie crust on the oven rack first, then pour in the filling – that way, the filling won’t be sloshing around when you transfer the pie to the oven, but do be careful to slide the oven rack back in gently! The recipe also called for finely ground cornmeal, but I’d use straight-up corn flour next time. The pie baked up a bit like a soufflé and deflated afterwards, but it was delicious!
1 (9-inch) pie crust
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. finely ground cornmeal (I’d use corn flour next time)
1 ½ cups buttermilk (1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice topped up with lactose-free milk)
4 Tbsp. unsalted lactose-free butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 °F. Line a regular 9-inch pie pan (not deep dish) with the pie crust. Be sure to press the dough into the sides, without any cracks or holes in the pie crust. Roll the edge of the crust down on itself about ¼ inch and use your fingertips to flute the edge. Refrigerate the pie plate while preparing the filling.
Place the eggs, sugar, flour, and cornmeal in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and salt and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet. Pull out the oven rack halfway and place the baking sheet on it. Pour the filling into the crust. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top (it's okay if it appears to sink into the filling slightly). Gently slide the oven rack back into place.
Bake, rotating halfway through, until the center of the pie is barely set in the center, reaches 200 °F, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes total.
Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before serving, 3 to 4 hours. Store leftovers in the fridge.