This unique Lemon Buttermilk Pie has the most silky, luscious texture, with a vibrant citrus flavor. It’s incredibly easy to make, and is all whisked together in ONE BOWL! It’s a staple for Thanksgiving and holiday meals.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie - Slices in a Pie Dish

While I do love my fair share of fussy desserts like Baklava or Pavlova with Blackberry Compote, I love desserts like this buttermilk pie, which is incredibly easy and wildly delicious.

What’s Great About This Recipe

So easy my 5-year-old can make it – No joke, my 5 year old can mix together this pie filling. It’s very simple and doesn’t require more than a bowl and a whisk.

One bowl – The entire filling is whisked together in one bowl, for minimal dishwashing.

Silky custard texture – The filling bakes into a creamy, silky smooth texture that is absolute heaven, with an almost creme brûlée-like effect on top.

Tart and sweet – This has the sweet and sour thing going on just like Lemon Bars. It’s really good!

You can see the golden brown caramelized crackly goodness in the above photo. Swoon. And here’s a closeup on the creamy filling:

Meyer Lemon Pie - Closeup of Piece on a Fork

What Citrus to Use

When I originally shared this recipe in 2014, I used Meyer lemons for the pie. They can be hard to find certain times of year, but when you see them, snatch them up. They have such a unique flavor and fragrance that is showcased so well in a recipe like this.

If you can’t find Meyer lemons, this pie is also fantastic with other citrus. Try:

  • Standard lemons
  • Any type of orange (Cara cara, clementine, tangerine, etc.)
  • Lime (standard or Key lime)
  • Grapefruit
  • A 50/50 mix of lemon and orange

How to Make It Step by Step:

In a big bowl, start the filling by combining eggs, sugar, and melted butter:

Lemon Filling - With Eggs, Sugar, and Melted Butter in a Bowl

Add pure vanilla extract and salt to the bowl:

Buttermilk Pie Filling - Eggs, Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla Extract Added to Bowl

Next add freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh citrus zest:

Pouring Lemon Juice into Pie Filling with Citrus Zests

As mentioned above, use Meyer lemons if you can find them. If not, use a 50/50 mix of standard lemon and orange. You may also use standard lemon only, but it will be a little more tart. 

Now, add pure buttermilk to the pie:

Adding Buttermilk to Filling Ingredients in Bowl

The buttermilk is such a key ingredient here, so please do not use a buttermilk substitute. 

Buttermilk tends to come in a quart size container, which is more than you need for this recipe, but it’s a good excuse to try these incredible Blueberry Muffins.

Or make Buttermilk Pancakes, this amazing Cornbread Recipe, or this legendary Fried Chicken Recipe. My friend Lindsay also has a post on How to Freeze Buttermilk, though I haven’t tried it myself. 

Whisk everything together until thoroughly blended, then add all-purpose flour to the filling:

Adding flour to slightly thicken the filling

This will help thicken it slightly.

Pour the lemon custard filling into an unbaked pie crust:

Lemon Custard Filling - Pouring Into Unbaked Pie Crust

I have a great all-butter pie crust recipe from scratch that you can use, or you can use a store-bought crust.

I admit to using store-bought crust quite often with this recipe, because that keeps it all really easy. Try to find one that uses butter.

Bake the pie for about an hour, until it’s jiggly but set. Then, let it cool completely, for at least 45 minutes. 

Buttermilk Pie - Baked Whole with Lemon Custard Filling

It’s now ready to be cut into slices.

Lemon Pie - Baked with Scratch Pie Crust and Cut into Slices

I think it’s perfect as is, but you could also dollop the top with a bit of whipped cream, or even some freshly whipped meringue!

Strawberry Tart is another one of my favorite fruit-focused desserts.

My Peanut Butter Pie is also a HUGE favorite amongst my friends and family. Enjoy!

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

A slice of lemon buttermilk pie in blue pie dish separated from full pie

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

This Lemon Buttermilk Pie has a creamy custard filling and bold citrus flavor. It's very easy to make!
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Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust (single)
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tbsp Meyer lemon juice*
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or use vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup flour

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fit the pie crust into a standard 9" pie plate, and keep it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  • In a large bowl, whisk to combine the sugar, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, Meyer lemon juice, Meyer lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt, until thoroughly blended and smooth.
  • Add the flour and briefly whisk until incorporated.
  • Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crackly. To further assess doneness, jostle the oven rack slightly and look at the filling. The custard should jiggle when moved, but shouldn’t look liquidy or loose in the center.
  • Let the pie cool for at least 45 minutes before serving. Note that while the pie cools, it will deflate slightly, and this is normal because of all the eggs in the filling. When cooled, slice and enjoy!

Notes

*You may also use standard lemon juice and zest here, or do a 50/50 combination of lemon and orange.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 112mg, Sodium: 307mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 39g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated with new photos and writing in June 2020. Originally published November 2014.