Northern Meets Southern: Maple Buttermilk Peanut Pie

Casey Barber

by Casey Barber on December 2, 2013

In my long-standing quest to put something other than pumpkin pie on the table every Thanksgiving, I tend to outdo myself attempting to create recipes so indulgent that no one will notice I’m once again breaking with tradition. (Heck, at this point, I think my guests might die of shock if I did acquiesce and bake a round of quivering pumpkin custard.) This year was no different.

maple buttermilk peanut pie, via goodfoodstories.com
Ladies and gentlemen, for your 2013 holiday snacking pleasure, I present the maple buttermilk peanut pie. Taking its cue from the cherpumple—a Frankensteinian dessert that combines cherry, pumpkin, and apple pies inside three layers of cake—and the Southern stack pie, this combo pie brings together two distinguished dessert traditions from two parts of the North American continent. And much like the two protagonists with opposite personalities who are always forced to team up in buddy movies, this duo makes a damn fine pair when thrown together.

The bottom layer pays homage to the South in a thick slab of peanut pie. Like pecan pie, this coastal dessert mixes nuts in a sweet blend of sugar, eggs, and butter. As the pie bakes, the sugary filling thickens and the salty peanuts rise to the top in a crunchy caramelized mass. For my pie, instead of Southern sorghum to sweeten the filling, I snuck in maple syrup for seasonal flavor (and also because you simply cannot go wrong with maple syrup. It cures all ills.)

But wait—there’s more! Baked on top of the peanut filling is a moist buttermilk cake blended with more maple syrup, a version of the French-Canadian pouding chomeur, or “poor man’s pudding.” While the batter is typically dolloped, dumpling-style, into a pan containing rich caramel or maple sauce, I decided to let the sweet-and-salty peanut layer serve in its stead here.

maple buttermilk peanut pie, via goodfoodstories.com
Make no mistake—with a homemade crust and two separate layers of filling, this is not a pie that comes together quickly. And with a decidedly earthy cream-and-brown color scheme, it’s not going to help you enliven the table with fruity pops of red. However, it is a dessert that has no problem being made in advance and waiting in the wings for its moment of glorious unveiling. (And if it’s not appropriate to go a little bit over the top for a holiday feast, then I’m not sure when it ever would be.)

Besides, if there’s one thing everyone can agree on—Southerners, Yankees, French Canadians, and any other ex-pat or transplant who ends up at your buffet this season—it’s that no one can resist a slice of pie. Dig in.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Shaina December 2, 2013 at 11:43 am

I love the cross-cultural mash-up of flavors and textures all in one dessert. Where’s my slice?

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Aimee Wimbush-Bourque December 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Casey, this is nothing short of genius! I hold no partiality toward classic pies, so serve me up a slice of your cross-border creation.

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Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies December 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

This is fabulous! I am so sorry to have missed the dessert buffet this year. Mostly because we didn’t get to see you, but just a teensy bit to have missed this pie!

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Meghan December 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I will eat all of this pie and I will not be sorry.

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Lisa December 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Damn.

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Patty December 3, 2013 at 11:56 am

This pie is my destiny. I’m a New Englander with French Canadian roots living in the South. It’ll be on my table for Christmas…if not sooner. Thanks!

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Sarah - A Beach Home Companion December 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Ohhhhh, I love this idea. As you know, I love pumpkin and squash, but for some reason, never really learned to appreciate pumpkin pie. Anson loves it though because he gets the whole pumpkin pie to himself.

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Gburg December 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

That was a mighty tasty pie. I loved it!!!

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Allison December 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

This is PERFECT! For the first time ever, I didn’t make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. We totally survived with the oatmeal pecan pies and coconut creams. This pie, however, is getting added to the Christmas menu right now!

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