Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For information about listening to Vermont Public Radio, please go here.

VPR Cafe: REAL Buttermilk

Sunday, June 23, 2013 10:40am  The buttermilk we find in the supermarket is usually skim or low fat milk with culture added to sour it.  Real buttermilk is the thick, creamy 'left-overs' of the butter churning process.   Diane Saint Claire of Animal Farm in Orwell, Vermont had lots of 'left overs' from her custom butter making (VPR Cafe June 2 '13), so she developed dozens of recipes and published The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook.  This week, Melissa Pasanen talks about delicious ways to enjoy true buttermilk. 

You'll find the recipes for the recipes mentioned in the program below:  Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Crust and Sour Cherry Crumb Coffee Cake, both from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook.

Melissa writes for the Savorvore Section of The Burlington Free Press, where you can read moreabout Saint Claire.  The VPR Cafe is produced in collaboration with The Burlington Free Press and made possible on VPR by The Vermont Community Foundation Food and Farm Initiative.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Crust
For the filling:
4 cups chicken stock
3 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, sliced into ½-inch pieces
½ teaspoon dried whole thyme leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2½ to 3 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crust:
1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To make filling, heat stock to a simmer in a large pot. Add potatoes, carrots, celery and thyme, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Don’t cover pot — you want the stock to reduce to about 3 cups. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and stir in flour. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the chicken stock from the large pot into the butter-flour mixture until smooth, then pour this sauce back into the large stockpot and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until stock has visibly thickened. Remove from the heat, add chicken, peas, cheese and nutmeg, and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

Sour Cherry Crumb Coffee Cake
For Streusel:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For Cake:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups buttermilk
3 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries, pitted (see testing note)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. For streusel, whisk together flour, both sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl, then pour in the butter and mix to make large clumps. The mixture will be stiff.

For cake, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another large bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, then mix in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add half the buttermilk to the butter-sugar mixture, followed by half of the flour mixture. Add remaining buttermilk and mix; add remaining flour and mix. Turn batter into baking dish and cover with the fruit.

Sprinkle prepared streusel over the batter, pressing a few bigger pieces together with your fingers to make some bigger clumps. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a skewer poked in the center comes out clean. (You may need several extra minutes if using frozen fruit.) Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 10-12.

Free Press testing note: We tested this recipe successfully with well-drained jarred sour cherries. As the recipe introduction points out, it can be made with any type of berry or sliced stone fruit such as apricots or plums.

Franny was VPR's Director of Programming & Production.
Latest Stories