A few months ago, back during the height of “pie season”, my mother sent me a link to Daily Candy that featured this pie. The name intrigued me: Salty honey pie. Sounded awesome. As far as I’m concerned salted anything is pretty delicious- salted caramel, salted chocolate, etc.
I know of this pie shop & the name is pretty awesome. Not only that, but the cover of the book is awesome too:
So anyway, now that the holidays have wound down & I’m not on a baking schedule of specific traditional treats, I thought I’d make this salted honey pie & see how it is. See if it lives up to the idea of deliciousness that I (& everyone else) has in my head. I made it twice (this is the second one). The first one didn’t look that great because I used a larger pie plate than I should have for the sake of convenience, and the crust slid down into the filling. This one was ultimately the better-looking one, so aesthetically speaking it “won.” However both tasted fantastic.
I think it’s Jay’s new favorite pie.
And I am always, ALWAYS bad at pie crust. Always. I just can’t get it perfect, ever. Oh well.
SALTY HONEY PIE (from Four & Twenty Blackbirds’s new cookbook)
For the 9-inch double crust:
- 1 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 lb. (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ice
- Stir the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
- With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
- Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a bowl or large measuring cup.
- Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.
- Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tbsp. at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.
- Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape dough into a flat disc.
- Flour a flat surface, then roll out dough into a 12- to 13-inch circle. Carefully place dough in 9-inch pie pan, trim hanging edges, and crimp. Wrap pan in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give crust time to mellow. (Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)
For the filling:
- 1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon white cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (Nielsen-Massey makes a readily available one)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons flake sea salt (like Maldon), for finishing
- Have ready the frozen or refrigerated pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan (yes you can use a frozen pie crust for this, just defrost it, put it in the pan & then refrigerate it or freeze it again).
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, stir the melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt, and vanilla paste.
- Stir in the honey and the eggs one at a time, followed by the heavy cream and vinegar.
- Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator or freezer, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell (or strain it into a separate bowl and then pour it into the shell).
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, 30-35 minutes through baking.
- The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed up high and the center is no longer liquid but looks set like gelatin and is golden brown on top.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2-3 hours.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Reheat or serve at room temperature. (The pie will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 2 days.)
I used Maldon sea salt on top, and I’d suggest you be a little liberal with it. You want that saltiness to really come through. I know, I know, Maldon is $10.00 for a little over 2 cups of salt… but it’s WORTH it. And don’t go TOO crazy with it, you don’t want a thick layer of salt but you definitely want to taste it. It makes the pie!
You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of the paste if you must. I’d recommend getting the vanilla paste, it’s a good thing to have. But if you decide to make this pie at- oh, say 3 a.m. & you have none… extract will be fine.