Buttermilk Pie with Vodka Crust

Feb 2nd, 2018 | By | Category: baking and desserts, blog, cook something
Sharon Yingling's Buttermilk Pie with Vodka Crust

Sharon Yingling’s Buttermilk Pie with Vodka Crust

Buttermilk and vodka may not be a flavor combination that comes to mind when you think of two great tastes to go great together. However, if it is a sweet, creamy buttermilk custard topped by an almost crème brûlée- like candy shell, and swaddled in a light, flaky vodka pie crust, well,  you might just change your mind.

The pie and crust recipes are courtesy of  Sharon Yingling of Austin, Texas, who is a professional hair stylist, accomplished jewelry maker, and passionate pie baker.

Sharon’s Vodka Pie Crust

Sharon admitted that she usually uses a ready-made pie crust for her pies because they’re easy and convenient, particularly when she’s in a hurry and has a hankering for something home baked and sweet. Plus, there are some ready-made crusts that are quite tasty that she’s proud to use.

Yet, after developing her version of vodka pie crust she told me, “I have decided that the vodka pie crust is much better than the ready made one and from now on I will be making my own pie crusts  unless I absolutely don’t have time.”

NOTE: Water activates gluten in flours, and gluten can make crusts tougher and less flaky–especially when overworked, which we often tend to do. The alcohol in the vodka doesn’t promote gluten formation (the alcohol bakes off), so it helps the crust stay much flakier and more tender.  If you are using gluten free flours to make your dough, those are naturally more flaky when cooked because they lack gluten. The addition of vodka to the dough, then, may be moot.  The original idea to include vodka in a pie crust recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated magazine, and can be found here.


  • 1 1/4 C. flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 T chilled butter
  • 4 T chilled shortening
  • 3 T very cold vodka


  1. Cut butter and shortening into flour sugar and salt.
  2. Add vodka 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until it forms a ball. Do not handle too much.
  3. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll out on floured parchment paper, and gently transfer to a pie plate.

NOTE: This dough can be sticky, and if unable to roll out, it can be patted into the pie plate with success.

Buttermilk Pie Filling

Sharon likes sweets. The sweeter the better. She told me that many buttermilk pie recipes call for only 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. She uses a full two cups of the granules. This is why the lemon juice and lemon zest are integral to the recipe, “They balance out the sweetness,” she said. On the plus side of the sugar, it creates a  crème brûlée- like candy shell over the custard.


  • 2 C sugar
  • Scant 1/2 C Bisquick baking mix
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 C whole buttermilk (not fat-free)
  • 3 whole, large eggs
  • 1 Tbs.vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • lemon zest ( optional–but it really is nice to use)
  • dash of nutmeg


  1. Mix sugar and Bisquick.
  2. Add melted butter and buttermilk.
  3. Whisk in eggs one at a time.
  4. Add vanilla lemon and nutmeg.
  5. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 until golden brown on top ( about an hour )
  6. Let cook thoroughly before cutting, or the center will be a little too loose.
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  1. Best Buttermilk Pie!!!

  2. Do you think it would work with limoncello? I love the lemon flavor…

  3. Are you thinking about using the limoncello in the crust? I wonder if there might be too much sugar in it to create the same flaky texture as vodka provides. Give it a go and let us know. The idea is intriguing.

  4. […] deceptively simple buttermilk pie recipe is quite tasty, and uses a “secret” ingredient that I never would have suspected. […]

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