Happy New Year my friends! It’s just about time to tie a pretty ribbon on this year. A wrap.
But… not before we make a Honey Pie. It’s been a sweet year. I mean that most literally. It feels like we should wrap the year up with pie, because I’m pretty sure my heart is part muscle and part pie. I’m also fairly certain that honey runs through my veins. And so here we are… with Vanilla Sea Salt in tow.
Let’s make a pie and call it a year… almost almost.
Original Photography Shot with the Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR. The perfect multimedia solution.
This Salty Honey Pie recipe comes from the very special The Four and Twenty Blackbird Pie Book. I’m newly crushing on this book. So much so, that I got this book for my dad for Christmas. I had to take the book for a test drive before I wrapped it up and gifted it, naturally… so I chose this beautifully sweet custard pie.
This pie bakes up like a custard pie. That means we start with melted butter, sugar, eggs, and milk or cream of some sort.
A tablespoon of cornmeal is added for a bit of texture, too… whisked together with the melted butter, sugar, and salt.
Honey is up next! I used a raw sage honey. It’s a lovely amber color with a mild/hint of herby flavor. I think any sort of honey would be wonderful, but I might steer away from buckwheat honey.
Eggs are whisked in one at a time, all proper like. Heavy cream and a splash of vinegar are last.
We’ve made pie crust together about 458 time. It’s a stellar combination of butter, flour, and buttermilk smashed together and chilled.
You can find more step-by-step pie instructions with this Peach and Blueberry Pie post.
Rolled and trimmed.
I consider this pie nouveau comfort food. The custard pie is honey-sweet and familiar. The crust is buttery, flakey, and downright perfect. The addition of sea salt (or in my case, Vanilla Sea Salt) adds the most interesting balance. I love salt in my desserts. Salt is really what keeps you coming back for more. This pie’s brazen use of finishing salt feels crazy and luxurious, and new, and weirdly just right. Make the pie. Buy the book. Do it all! (I promise to be less bossy in the new year.) (Not true.)
Salty Honey Pie
makes 1 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white cornmeal
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
3/4 cup honey (I use raw sage honey)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt (I used Vanilla Sea Salt)
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers (or a potato masher), work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.
On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl whisk together melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, and salt. Split vanilla bean and add the vanilla bean scrapings (or extract, if using) into the butter mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in honey.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine.
Whisk in heavy cream and vinegar.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake pie for 45 to 55 minutes until pie is deep golden brown and puffed around the edges and set in the center. Open the oven and rotate the pie halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.