One might not expect a speech-language pathologist and an architectural engineer to be the kind of people placating the Southern sweet tooth, but Scott and Meredith Layton did just that when they opened Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop. Knoxville, Tennessee, is home to the couple’s first shop, but you'll find their pies in Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia and all over Texas, with the newest location now open in Frisco.
Considering the history of the recipes and the Laytons' upbringings, it is more than appropriate that their shops are spread all over the South. The couple’s unlikely path to becoming bakers began during their childhoods.
Scott grew up on a 1,500-acre farm in Southeast Missouri. He spent most of his summer working on the farm and spending time with his grandmother in the kitchen. His grandmother would always be making fresh preserves and cream pies, and through her, he found a love for fresh baked goods.
Meredith was raised in Memphis. Like Scott's, her grandmother was known to many as “the pie lady.” Spending Friday nights at her grandmother’s, Meredith often woke up to homemade three-bite tea biscuits and jelly.
Both Scott’s and Meredith’s childhoods gave them an understanding and a love for baking. However, their grandmothers had different specialties. Scott’s was more of a fruit pie kind of lady while Meredith’s was known more for her cream and pecan pies. These influences eventually found their way on the menu of the couple’s first shop in Tennessee.
“[Scott and Meredith] are just typical Southern people. That’s why the bakery has that rustic country look,” says Leah Clark, operating partner at Buttermilk Sky Pie’s Frisco location.
The Laytons' grandmothers came up with most of the recipes the pie shop serves. Some, such as the apple pie, the pecan pie and coconut cream pie, have stayed largely the same. Clark waxes poetic about the shop's thumbprint cookies, the Granny’s Apple Pie and the I-40.
The I-40 is the shop’s top-selling pie. Served in housemade crust, the pie is filled with pecans, chocolate chips and coconut flakes. It's the perfect blend of everything, Clark says. The pie gets its name from the highway that runs through Tennessee and Oklahoma.
“So they say, ‘It’s good all up and down I-40,’” Clark says.
The thumbprint cookies are are filled with chocolate, vanilla or lemon icing.
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“It’s just traditional because you roll out the dough, literally chop it up and put your thumb in it to leave the thumbprint, then just fill it with icing,” she says. “I could eat the whole tray.”
This apple pie is covered in cinnamon sugar and topped with a brown sugar crumble. Clark says most people mistake it for Granny Smith’s apple pie, but it is a recipe passed down from the grandmothers who started it all.
“It’s granny’s recipe till the end,” Clark says.
Buttermilk Sky Pie, 5355 Dallas Parkway, Frisco