Cassy Vires, chef-owner of Home Wine Kitchen (7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-802-7676), spent summers at her grandmother's home in Chattanooga, and even today there's a strong Southern influence on her cooking style.
When asked to prepare a dish of her choosing for Gut Check, she selected Crustless Buttermilk Pie. "It's a Southern dessert," she explained. "Something you just kind of whip up on a Sunday morning. It's easy and quick to make." She adds, "I tell St. Louis people it's like the gooey layer of gooey butter cake."
Vires serves the pie sliced into a four-inch square, garnishing the plate with lemon crème anglaise and shaving some lemon zest onto the pie itself. The resulting flavor profile is predictable, but no less delicious for it. The pie itself is rich with butter and milkfat, with a hint of vanilla sweetness.
Most important, Vires notes, "It's idiot-proof!"
Crustless Buttermilk Pie
3 eggs 1 ¼ cup sugar 1 ½ cup buttermilk 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/8 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8x8 cake pan and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar and whisk until well combined. Add buttermilk, flour, butter, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth and creamy. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and slightly jiggly. Let cool. Serve chilled.