Vanilla Buttermilk Pie with Pears and Backing Up Your Blog

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Buttermilk pie is a brand new dessert for me. I had no idea that such a thing even existed, but the folks here in the South know how to use buttermilk. They fry chicken in it. They make pancakes and  biscuits with it. And, of course, they make red velvet cake over and over again. I found myself with a soon expiring two cups of buttermilk. Wanting to do something a little different, I found a recipe for a buttermilk pie in the Loveless Cafe Desserts Cookbook. I decided to add in some sliced pears, bake it in a tart pan and see what happens.

Vanilla Buttermilk PIe with Pears by Angela Roberts

Little did I know this buttermilk pie would take me through one of Spinach Tiger’s most difficult times. Last Friday, at approximately 3:55 p.m eastern time, I went to do a blog post, but I couldn’t connect to the server. Not panicking because this had happened before, I went out for the evening and forgot about it. I found out on Saturday morning that the company hosting my website suffered a catastrophic failure explained here. I wasn’t the only one. And, what made this even worse was the the second drive that was supposed to act as the backup protection had also failed. I still didn’t understand everything, even though I read their report over and over again. Saturday I was in a state of panic. Sunday, I felt depressed. I had everything backed up prior to going with Word Press in October but would have to reinsert every photo and then redo every post for the last three months. On Monday, the hosting company found the data and my blog was restored as explained in this nerve racking thread here.  I was dark from Friday afternoon until Monday night. It felt like a blog kidnapping. I was never so happy to see Spinach Tiger go live, and I never want to live this out again. The only thing I can be proud of during that dark weekend is that I held my temper, I stayed cool, and I immediately started looking for a solution to rebuilding if this was true. It made me stop and realize how much a part of me this blog is and to what ends I’ll go to maintain it.

Buttermilk Pear Pie by angela Roberts

But, the question remains, where was my backup? Having moved my blog to wordpress in September, I thought I had a backup in place.

A Word about Backing Up a Blog

What would happen if your hosting company had a catastrophic failure? It has happened to even the coolest, smartest bloggers. (Not me, I’m only semi-cool, and half smart).

Having a blog is like having a child. You think you know enough to keep growing. You think you have all protections in place. And then something like this happens. In a way it was a good thing because it has forced me to go above and beyond with a back up plan.

We all have our individual reasons for blogging. A large part of it is being connected. We are connected to a community and readers we will never meet. When the plug is suddenly pulled and the connection goes dark, it’s more than unsettling.  Our worst blogging nightmare is to go dark and be told our blog can’t be retrieved. Most of us think we are backed up and secure.

If you have a blog, tell me how is it backed up? Do you have just your content backed up? Or do you have the all data, photos and plug-ins backed up? I am putting a plan in place that will give Spinach Tiger that extra peace of mind. I’ve talked to a few bloggers since this happened. Surprisingly, many are not really sure how well backed up they are. Some back up content. But, what does that mean? How quickly could they get their blog put back together.

I am putting my security in place today, and I will share my plan with you. I would love to hear from you. How secure do you feel about the back up you have in place? What advice would you give someone? Have you ever been caught blind sighted and lost your blog? How would you feel if your blog went dark and you were unsure it could be restored?

The Pie

How much pie would you find yourself eating in the second day of blog darkness? I nearly finished this pie that dark weekend, as it became my comfort food. It was the only thing I ate because I was too upset to cook. The buttermilk creamy part of the pie was soothing to my soul as was the pastry crust which came out just perfect. I had made the pie on Thursday, but it got better each day and it was finished off on Monday morning. Lucky for me, I lost weight, so it never got the best of me, but I certainly got the best of this pie.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vanila Buttermilk Pie with Pears

I combined two recipes to make this southern style pie, made with whole buttermilk and pears. Inspired from Desserts from the Loveless Cafe.
Servings: 6 -8


  • pie shell or tart shell partially baked see my recipe in notes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced pears
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 vanilla bean halved lengthwise
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Combine sugar, butter, flour and inside of vanilla bean in food processor. Add in eggs one at at time. Once incorporated, stream in buttermilk.
  • Pour into pie shell. Top with sliced pears.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and custard is set.
  • Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving. Best made a day ahead.


Pie Crust Recipe
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour ( plus 1 teaspoon for later)
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 tablespoons iced cold water
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix salt and flour together. Cut butter into small pieces. Freeze both for a 15 minutes minutes, as butter softens immediately upon cutting. If using food processor, put flour mixture in bowl and freeze blade. Lay small pieces of butter evenly over flour and mix for 20 seconds at a time, stopping as soon as dough is shaggy. Stream in cold water. If using kitchen aid type mixer, use paddle attachment on low setting for one minute max.
Stream in cold water on sides of bowl. Mix on low, just until incorporated. Form into disc , wrap in plastic at least one hour. I rest my dough overnight, but this is not a must.
Take dough out 30 minutes before rolling to soften.
Roll out dough, evenly, not too thick, less than 1/4” thick and in all directions to make a circle. In this tart pan, it was a rectangle. Do not stretch dough, because it will shrink back. Patch any cracks or holes. Use fork to make indentations.
Partially bake: Cover with parchment and use pie weights or dry beans and bake at 325 for twenty minutes.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

If you love the idea of creamy buttermilk desserts, jump over to Alexandra Cooks for her buttermilk panna cotta and some good information for purchasing vanilla beans.

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  1. The pie looks amazing to me – yum! 🙂

    I export my blog once a month, which backs up content & comments… then I do the template every few months if I remember (but having an older version of that is less of a big deal in my view). Is it perfect? By no means. (And my photos are all linked from Flickr, so if they went down I’d have much bigger problems, it would take forever to put all that back together.)

  2. Oh no thats awful 🙁 I am actually having issues with mine at the moment. So far the content is ok but all of my comments have disappeared.

  3. I♥ buttermilk pie. I love your flavor combination with pears. As for backing up my blog..I have my blogger template and my posts backed up in text edit documents which is probably a stone age method but honestly I never researched how to do it otherwise. So sorry about your weekend panic. You’e inspired me (and other from reading the comments on this post) to take matters into our own hands.

  4. I have decided to go with It will back up database, all pictures, plug ins and is stored on Amazon. Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. There is a minimal cost from Amazon.

    This makes me sleep better knowing I a restore option that has everything.

  5. Firat off, another delightful pie Angela…I love buttermilk in cooking! As for backing up a blog, I use a plugin that backs up my blog at prescribed intervals and emails me the results. I haven’t used it yest but I know what it’s like to have technical blog issues. Glad everything returned!

  6. i’m sooo glad you were able to get all of your blog restored – thank goodness! as you know, i really have no idea how my blog is backed up, which i’m not proud to admit. tweeting with you the other day inspired me to start researching backup methods, + i’m trying to determine which’ll be the best for me. let me know what works best for you + what you recommend!

    oh, + this pie looks divine. that goes without saying. =)

  7. With Blogger I somehow set it up some time ago that each post will go into my hotmail account. Each time I post I assume all of this information is saved. I assume is the key word here.

  8. 5 stars
    I didn’t realize there’s a WordPress plugin to back up my blog ~ definitely going to look into that. I have been exporting my blog {on the dashboard under ‘Tools’} which says “All content This will contain all of your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus and custom posts.” which I take to mean that it includes photographs. It downloads to my computer and is then included in my laptop backups {three separate backups~ to the hard drive, a dvd and online.}

    Pie is my favorite food ~ isn’t it at the top of the food pyramid? This pie sounds divine and I am definitely going to make it soon!

    Good luck with your blog security!

    1. That’s what I’ve been doing too, I don’t understand why something more is needed…but if wp is offering a plug-in, that must indicate that it’s not sufficient.

  9. Oh you poor thing Angela! And it is catastrophic when your blog goes down isn’t it. And I’m glad that you said that it takes on human qualities because I feel like it is one for me and people don’t understand how upset you can be when it is possibly gone.

    BTW gorgeous pie! I must make this! 😀

  10. The first step is to backup your data online and that is simply accomplished using a WordPress plugin as I mentioned to you. If you want all of your data backed up, not just for the blog but everything, I use Carbonite. It’s constantly backing up everything on my desktop; in the event of a computer failure I would not lose years of photos either. I used to backup on a 2nd hard drive…but hard drives fail and this stuff is too important to lose. As you almost found out!

  11. Oo, it must be a coincidence as I was having the same thoughts today; I should really be spending more time in backing up my blog. I do it once in a while but certainly not in any sufficient way or in any regular way either so if all would fall to pieces, I think I would fall to pieces too. Would be really interested in hearing how you’re gonna do your backups Angela! The options I have been looking at today were fairly expensive but fully automated every time I change something. Not sure if that is the way to go but I do think it would be worth the few dollars a month…

  12. I regularly back up my entire blog. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading y^what you have to have to share with us on that subject…

    What a wonderful pie! So delicious sounding and looking.



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