As our plane touched down in DFW airport, we were hurriedly scrawling a grocery list for a weekend of serious eating. We had just returned from New York fashion week and we were dreaming of making fried biscuits and salted honey pie. Even a short trip makes me terribly homesick for my kitchen. This salted honey pie was consumed in Jeff’s laundry room at 10:30 pm on Sunday night in the midst of a weekend-long Cosby show marathon. It felt exactly like home. I remember this very sentimentally now.
I can’t explain to you how good this pie was. It tasted great straight from the laundry room but I’m betting it would taste even better on the table at Thanksgiving. We topped the pie with a gigantic dollop of lemony whipped cream that Jeff decided to make just before we started hacking into it. I am totally making this again.
I endured some butter-induced trauma after using The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book all-butter pie crust recipe but it ended up being terrific. This glorious crust IS all butter and it WILL melt before your eyes as you roll it out unless your kitchen is an icebox. You may start to have a mini-breakdown as this happens and someone may have to intervene and roll the dough out for you. Ahem (thank you, Jeff). I really do love this pie crust though. As you can see in the pictures our crust is a bit chippy in places (things happen when you’re trying to jump hurdles over a doggy gate with a pie in your hands) but it was flaky, tangy perfection. I was skeptical of the extremely generous splash of vinegar it called for, but now I see that’s why it tastes so good.
If you are a pie enthusiast and have not yet purchased a copy of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, I highly recommend you get yourself one! There are so many fun recipes to try, but I couldn’t resist trying the salted honey pie as my first.
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup honey (we used clover blossom)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt (We used Maldon)
Adapted slightly from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter and coat with the flour mixture using a spatula.
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until you have small crumbles of butter.
In a smaller bowl, add the water, vinegar, and ice.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix with a spatula until it blended. Repeats this method until the pie dough becomes a ball. You can use your hands, don’t be afraid!
Bring it all together and then flatten in the shape of a disc, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two. The original recipe recommends overnight is better.
Freeze your 9-inch pie pan, preferably crimped, beforehand.
Preheat over to 375 degrees F
Stir together the butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl, then add the honey, and finally the eggs one at a time. Finish by mixing in the heavy cream and white vinegar.
Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into a separate bowl and then pour the strained mixture into the pie shell.
Bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes.
Allow to cool on a rack for 3-4 hours before sprinkling with sea salt.