Chamomile buttermilk pie in a chocolate crust

Another day, another pie. I promise that my next post will not have a short crust casing! It might be something round, but that’s about as pie-like as it’s gonna get. As for the last of the pie chronicles, this one took me by surprise. It claims to be a buttermilk custard pie, but the taste is so similar to cheesecake that I have to question whether it’s custard at all. It’s not too sweet, thick and creamy and has a tangy flavour – pretty much everything you’d ask for in a cheesecake.

I infused the cream in chamomile before adding it to the rest of the “custard” ingredients for a very subtle tea-ish flavour. If you want something more pronounced, I recommend using Earl Grey or Lapsang Soushong.

I used the leftover chocolate pastry from the white bottom matcha pie as there was plenty leftover. It’s a system of waste not want not really, and since we’ve taken an interest in saving our planet recently (and for good reason – our sea mammals shouldn’t have to swim amongst our waste products) it makes sense to do a kind of ‘look what you can make with your leftover pastry dough’ kinda post.

Chamomile buttermilk pie in a chocolate crust

Serves 6-8

For the chocolate pastry

  • 370g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks + 1 more for egg wash
  • 3-5 tbsp ice cold water

Pastry makes enough for two open pies. Split the dough in half and place the second half in the freezer where it’ll keep for one month. 

For the buttermilk custard

  • 240ml double cream
  • 3 chamomile teabags
  • 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 160g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbso white vinegar

Special equipment: 9 inch pie plate


  1. Start by making the pastry. Put the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the butter and pulse to breadcrumb consistency. Pour in 3 egg yolks and 3 tbsp water and pulse again, add the rest of the water if the dough is too dry. Stop the mixer as soon as a ball of dough takes shape. Pour the crumbly dough on a layer of cling film then lift up the sides and press together to make a disc. Put the dough in the fridge to rest for half an hour.
  2. Split the chilled dough in 2 and place the second half in the freezer to use for another pie. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, it needs to be large enough to cover a 9 inch pie plate with overhang and should be the thickness of a £2 coin.
  3. Place the dough in the pie plate and trim the edges so you have roughly an inch of overhang. Fold the excess pastry into itself to create a thicker lip around the pie. Use your thumb and index finger to crimp the edges and then place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 170C/190 Fan. Blind bake for 37 minutes, remove the pie weights and reduce the oven to 160C/180 Fan. Mix the remaining egg yolk with a drop of milk and brush all over the pastry case. Bake the pie for a further 5-10 minutes to set the pastry. Let the pie shell cool on a wire rack. Make sure to leave the oven running.
  5. To make the buttermilk custard, bring the double cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the teabags, cover and let steep for at least 15 minutes.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, salt and flour. Stir in the whole eggs and yolk.
  7. Remove the teabags from the cream and stir in the buttermilk and white vinegar. Pour the cream mixture into the eggs while whisking. Strain the mixture straight into the pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes, until the mixture has risen slightly and the edges are set, but there’s still a wobble in the middle. Leave to cool completely before serving.