I made some red velvet cupcakes this weekend for a friend's party and I had all the ingredients on hand, except for red food coloring and buttermilk. The recipe only required a half a cup of buttermilk, but it's not like anyone happens to have buttermilk lying around the house. So I had to go buy some - a half gallon of it, to be precise. After the half cup of buttermilk was used, I was left with a pretty full container of buttermilk occupying my freezer door. Normally, it would have probably sat in my fridge for the next month, happily fermenting and turning green, but I was determined not to let that happen this time around. So I researched some simple recipes that included buttermilk. I turned to my trusty companion, the food network.
Paula Deen's recipe for Buttermilk Pie immediately caught my eye. It only required a few ingredients and looked really simple to make. I have never tasted buttermilk pie before, so I had no clue if I'd like it or not, but from the comments, it seemed like it was a crust-less pie with a creme brulee-like filling. I'm not the biggest fan of pie crust and I love creme brulee, so I gave it a go. I love Paula Deen but I've noticed the woman loves her butter and sugar, so I adjusted the recipe a bit to reduce the sugar and butter and they were not sorely missed.
Olivia's Buttermilk Pie
as adapted from Paula Deen
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup biscuit mix (such as Bisquick)
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch pie pan. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Pour mixture into the pie pan. Here's a picture of it before it went into the oven.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The original recipe calls for 50 minutes, but mine started turning brown at the edges at around 40 minutes so I took the pie out immediately.
After you take it out of the oven, let it cool. Some people have commented on the food network that you should chill it first and eat it cold and I couldn't agree more. I wasn't too found of it when it was still warm, but when I tried it the following day, it tasted like the little egg custards you get in Chinatown, minus the pie crust, of course. It's decadent and creamy. It's like eating a giant, hearty creme brulee. You could definitely put some sugar on top and caramelize it under the broiler for a real creme brulee look, but I didn't go there. There are so many variations to this that you could do.
Now that I've successfully used all of a cup and half of buttermilk, what's a girl to do. Make ice cream of course!! I found a lovely buttermilk ice cream recipe on Smitten Kitchen but that required me going out and buying some heavy cream, which I didn't have at home, and well... you can see where that would get me - a whole other post on what to do with leftover heavy cream. So I did some searching for other buttermilk ice cream recipes online and most of them required a bit of heavy cream and/or milk, neither of which were residing in my fridge at the moment. In the end, I came across this recipe from Emeril Lagasse for Buttermilk Ice Milk. I thought it was worth a shot and believe me, it was a pleasant surprise. Might I dare draw a comparison to the P word. It tastes a lot like Pinkberry frozen yogurt.
After doing some more searching, I came across David Lebovitz's recipe for Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet from his book, The Perfect Scoop. I may have to try his recipe after this batch and do a taste test. Emeril's Buttermilk Ice Milk is a definite keeper for now.
Buttermilk Ice Milk or Frozen Yogurt
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
3 cups of buttermilk
In a large non-reactive bowl or container, combine the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and buttermilk and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Cover the bowl or container and transfer to the refrigerator until it's been chilled, at least an hour. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
Here's a picture of my Cuisinart churning away.
After it's been running for about 20 minutes, pour into a sealable container and place in the freezer. Here's what mine looked like after a few hours in the freezer. The fro-yo is velvety, tart and not too sweet, a winning combination if you ask me. I recall several years ago trying to make a Pinkberry-esque frozen yogurt with my ice cream maker using greek yogurt, which wasn't quite so successful, but this one comes mighty close. I may have to start buying buttermilk on a regular basis now.
BTW, I also tried substituting milk for buttermilk in my scrambled eggs and it was pretty good. The tartness can be mistaken for cheese, but it's very subtle. It was a welcomed change from the standard scrambled eggs. Now, I've offered you THREE delicious suggestions for leftover buttermilk. Now if only, I can find ways to get rid of the other things occupying my fridge...