What's Buttermilk Chess Pie and What Does It Taste Like?

What comes to mind for distinctive holiday desserts? Maybe a gooey apple or softly spiced pumpkin pie, not a buttermilk chess pie.

his easy dessert, a Southern favorite, especially around the holidays, is made with pantry ingredients and bakes into a golden, creamy, and gratifying pie that you can make right now without purchasing.

To ensure it's cooked, an instant-read thermometer should read 175 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit at the center of the pie when you take it from the oven.

In the oven, the custard's sugar and flour or cornstarch caramelize, creating a pie with a golden caramel top that's somewhat crispy like a large crème brûlée.

 Buttermilk offers a distinct, acidic flavor that complements the custard's richness (2–3 cups sugar). Buttermilk pie richness is balanced with a flaky, buttery, somewhat salty crust.

Add cocoa powder to the custard for a slightly sweet, wonderfully rich buttermilk chess pie that tastes like a brownie. The rich chocolate and mild buttermilk pair well.

Lemon and chocolate variations would look great on a holiday dessert table. Luckily, it doesn't have to be warm.

Buttermilk and normal chess pie can be created using what chefs have on hand and taste good. Cooks are creative in a pinch—even Texas pecan pie was made with oats.