Chai Buttermilk Pie
Creamy buttermilk custard makes the perfect vehicle for chai, which with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves are reminiscent of eggnog. This makes a perfect ending to a holiday meal, in place of or along with the more traditional pumpkin or pecan pie.
Pastry for single crust pie
1 T. loose chai tea leaves
2 c. buttermilk
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour
¼ c. melted butter
4 large egg yolks
Finely-grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
In a small ramekin, pour about 2 tablespoons boiling water over the chai tea leaves. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, stir the leaves into the buttermilk and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to get rid of any tea bits. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll your pastry out into a 12” circle. Gently fold the dough into quarters to transfer it into a pie plate. Unfold the dough onto the plate, center it, and gently fit the dough into the plate without stretching it, leaving the edges hanging over. Trim and crimp the edges, and chill the pastry while you mix the filling.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour (this helps get rid of any lumps of flour) and whisk into the buttermilk along with the butter, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice. Put the pie into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 325°F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until pale golden and set. Let cool completely and serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold. Serves 10.