I discovered Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski and this Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie, on Instagram, where I find so much great inspiration. One of the first things I discovered about Lisa and her bakers is that they dance in the kitchen. These are my people! This pie cemented my admiration. It is all the things I love in a pumpkin pie and more. The pumpkin filling is not too sweet, because of the tang of buttermilk and it is combined with a crunchy streusel made with pepitas and buckwheat. It is a combination of traditional and uniquely Sister Pie. If you have the good fortune of being in Detroit, you should visit their shop, but until then, get the book, it’s a gem.
Lisa generously shared the recipe with us below.*
Do you have pie questions or need to troubleshoot your recipe? Check out my guide on how to make pie crust.
Top the pie with the caramel (optional) and whipped cream!
You can use pumpkins or other winter squash in the recipe. They lend different flavors and textures. Don’t feel confined by the can.
Buckwheat Pepita Streusel Topping
- 1/2 cup (67g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (35g) buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup (27g) pepitas, toasted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, chilled
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 (15 oz) can 425g pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk at room temperature (I used full fat, but skim is good too)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, melted I used browned butter, because I had it and it sounded tasty, but you can use straight up butter
- 2 tbsp fine yellow cornmeal “fine” is crucial or the texture will come through
- 3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 9-inch crust see notes
- 1 egg, beaten for brushing crust
Maple Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp dark maple syrup
Bourbon Caramel Sauce (Zoë's addition to the recipe – optional)
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 1 tsp corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter and your fingers, until it disappears. Add pepitas. Spread over the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until browned and no longer looks wet. Cool until ready to use.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, syrup, melted butter, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour into the blind baked pie shell and paint the edge of the crust with the egg wash.
- Bake the pie for about 50 minutes or until the sides start to puff and the middle is set, but still slightly wobbly. Cool the pie for 15 minutes then add the streusel topping to the pie and cool completely, about 3 hours. The pie will be easier to cut once completely cool or refrigerated.
- Whip the heavy cream and maple together until soft peaks. Pipe or plop over the pie!
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
- Carefully place the sugar in a pan, avoiding the sides. If the sugar crystals cling to the side of the pan, then drop back into the cooking sugar solution, they will start a chain reaction and you may create rock candy instead. Adding a bit of invert sugar (corn syrup), which doesn’t crystallize, helps prevent this.
- Add the water, corn syrup and salt to the center of the pan. Cook the sugar solution on high. Only touch the sugar in the center, to make sure it’s all submerged in the water, then DO NOT TOUCH or stir until caramelized.
- Then just sit back and wait, but keep an eye on it. Once the sugar starts to caramelize it can no longer crystallize, so it’s safe to stir it. You want to stir so it can caramelize evenly.
- Once it is dark and is smoking, turn off the heat and quickly whisk in half the cream. Then the other half. It will sputter and may even seize a bit, but it will melt again, so don’t worry. Stir in the bourbon. You may need to turn the heat on low if you have a hard chunk of caramel. Strain in case there are any lumps. The caramel will thicken as it cools.