MAKES: 8 to 12 servings

TIME: 45 minutes with a prepared crust, plus time to chill

A lovely custard pie that is at once rich, tangy, and sweet. I love the whole berries that float to the top and become almost jammy. The recipe makes enough to fill a deep-dish pie plate, and that’s my favorite way to bake it. But it works in a regular pie dish too. You’ll have some filling left over, and the pie will be ready on the early end of the baking range given. Like cheesecake, this might crack a bit on the top, but to me that only adds to its old-fashioned appeal.

Other crusts that are good in this recipe: Wheat Piecrust or Oat Piecrust.

1 recipe Sweet Piecrust in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup cream or half-and-half

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1 cup blueberries

Bake the crust . Start the filling while the crust is in the oven. When the crust is done, set the oven temperature at 350В°F and cool the crust slightly on a rack.

Put the buttermilk and cream in a small pot and heat until steaming. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla if you’re using it; gradually pour in the buttermilk and cream while whisking. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cooled crust, evenly distribute the blueberries in the mixture, and return to the oven.

Bake until the mixture is not quite set it should jiggle a bit in the middle 35 to 45 minutes. Use your judgment; it will set and thicken more with cooling. Remove and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Variations

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Pie. Deeply flavored and decadent; excellent with Nut Tart Crust: Substitute 12 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate for the blueberries. Put the chocolate in a bowl, pour the hot buttermilk mixture over the top, stir until the chocolate is melted and incorporated, then stir into the egg mixture. Proceed with the recipe. Serve with whipped creme frache.

Ginger Sweet Potato Pie. Use Baked Gingersnap Crumb Crust: Increase the cream to 11/2 cups. Substitute 11/2 cups sweet potato pure for the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger or 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger for the blueberries. Proceed with the recipe, stirring the ginger in with the pure in Step 2. Serve with a dollop of Ginger Whipped Cream.

Banana Butterscotch Pie. Sweet and creamy: Substitute packed dark brown sugar for the white sugar, milk for the buttermilk, and 2 medium bananas for the blueberries. Peel and cut the bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices; arrange the slices overlapping each other in the baked pie crust in a single layer (you may not need all the banana slices). Gently pour the butterscotch mixture over the bananas so as not to dislodge any. Proceed with the recipe and serve with a good dollop of Vanilla Whipped Cream.