Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr
This recipe comes from Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a bakery in Brooklyn NY. It is a type of chess pie with honey added to the custard and topped with sea salt. You need the large, fine sea salt flakes for the topping for this recipe - Maldon works well here. The recipe calls for 1 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt to finish, but I find that one tablespoon is enough salt for my taste. Adjust accordingly to suit your preference for salt. I made this for our 4th of July cookout, and it was a big hit. The crust recipe calls for "ice water/ cider vinegar mixture" - I give the "recipe" for this in the instructions below. If you cannot find vanilla paste, you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla. The "prep time" listed below includes the time needed to make, rest, and bake the pie crust. If you choose to use a store-bought pie crust this pie comes together very quickly, and the prep time is only about 5 minutes.
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄4 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 -5 tablespoons ice water (or more) or 4 -5 tablespoons cider vinegar, mixture (or more)
FOR THE FILLING
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons white cornmeal
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup honey
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1⁄2 cup cream
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 -2 tablespoon flake sea salt
- TO MAKE THE CRUST:.
- Combine 1 cup cold water, 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup ice, mix well. Set aside.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter, being careful not to overwork during this step. The butter should be in pea-sized chunks - not too big, but not completely incorporated.
- Slowly add the ice water and vinegar mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and bring the dough completely together by hand, again being careful not to overwork. you may only need 4 tablespoons of the ice water/vinegar mixture - add another tablespoon if the mixture is still too dry to bring the dough together. Aim to create a marbleized effect, so that the butter is still visible. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour or more before use.
- Pre-bake the crust: Roll the dough out to fit a 9-inch pie pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a buttered pie pan, and crimp the edges as desired. Allow to rest and cool in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Line the crust with tinfoil or unwaxed parchment paper, add pie weights or about a cup of dried beans if you don't have pie weights. Distribute them evenly.
- Bake in a 375º oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling with custard.
- TO MAKE THE PIE:.
- Melt butter and combine with the sugar, salt, and cornmeal to make a thick paste.
- Add the honey, vanilla paste, and vinegar and mix together.
- Mix in the beaten eggs and the cream until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350º for 45 to 60 minutes. The filling will puff up like a marshmallow and the center will be just slightly wobbly.
- Once cooled (at least one hour), finish with a sprinkling of flake sea salt.
- Slice and serve with whipped cream.