Buttermilk adds a subtle, creamy tang to these stone-ground grits. This spiced pumpkin variation of the classic buttermilk stone-ground grits recipe gives great fall flavors. Canned pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice are responsible for the taste, while spiced pecans on top give an awesome crunchy touch. These grits were inspired by the extraordinary artisan grits made by Jim Barkley's mill, Barkley's Mill, in North Carolina. For his stone-ground grits, Barkley uses vintage gristmills that were refurbished and placed in a pristine millhouse at Barkley's Mill, and the beauty of these old machines is more than stone-deep. Grinding between the vertical stones of the gristmills keeps the corn from overheating during the milling process, protecting the integrity of the whole grain. The freshly ground grits are scooped by hand into cloth sacks, tied closed, and chilled. Those who appreciate corn grits know that this specially-crafted flavor is worth every penny! Grits go well with just about any Southern meal, at any time of day, on any holiday, or with any dish. Simmering until creamy and thickened is the key to the texture of perfectly cooked grits, and adding butter and the special fall ingredients towards the end ensures epic flavor.

Marian Cooper Cairns


Credit: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
30 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 4 cups water, 1 cup whole milk, and 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Gradually whisk in 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup whole buttermilk and 2 tbsp. unsalted butter.

  • Stir 1 cup canned pumpkin, 2 tsp. pure maple syrup, 3/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice into the warm grits. Sprinkle the servings with spiced pecans.