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Salty Honey Pie with An All-Butter Pie Crust

yield: 1 nine-inch pie
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Ingredients

For the All-Butter Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice

For Salty Honey Filling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt, for finishing

Instructions

For the All-Butter Pie Crust

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add 1/2 cup cubed frozen unsalted butter and coat with the flour mixture using a pastry blender. Continue using the pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (but a few larger pieces are okay — be careful not to overblend!).
  • In a liquid measuring bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cold water, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons if the ice water mixture over the flour mixture (from the first step), continuing to use the pastry blender to cut the water into the mixture until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, using your hans to mix until the dough comes together in a ball with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, and, if necessary, sprinkle any dry bits with small drops of ice water to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight (see baker's notes), to give the crust time to mellow. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
  • Once the dough has chilled overnight and has the texture and consistency of saltwater taffy, it's ready to be rolled. Liberally sprinkle a work surface with flour (see baker's notes). Unwrap the dough and place it on the work surface, sprinkling its top with flour. If the dough is hard, let it rest for a few minutes. If the dough seems too sticky at first, add flour liberally. Use a rolling pin to roll with light pressure, from the center out, moving the pie dough around every quarter to roll it evenly. Roll the the dough to about 12 to 13 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick (place your pie plate upside down over it to check its size).
  • Move the dough into the pie plate by folding it into quarters, then moving it into the plate and unfolding it. When the dough is in the plate, press it firmly into the bottom and sides of the plate. Roll the excessive pie dough overhang so that it sits like a tube on the pie plate rim. At this point, you can either crimp the tube with a fork or use your fingers to create a crimping pattern (The New York Times has a great how-to video demonstrating a relatively easy crimping technique). Once you've styled the crust, cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

For the Salty Honey Filling

  • Once your pie crust has been crimped and frozen overnight, make the filling. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 (F).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon fine-ground cornmeal, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 3/4 cup honey, before whisking in 3 large eggs one at a time, only adding the next egg when the previous one has been fully incorporated. Once all the eggs have been added, whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 2 teaspoons white vinegar until fully incorporated and the mixture has lightened.
  • Place the frozen pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and strain the filling (from the 2nd step) through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell. Transfer the baking sheet containing the pie to the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate the baking sheet by 180 degrees and continue baking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed up high; the center should no longer look liquid, but instead is set like gelatin and is golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely to room temperature on a wire rack, about 3 to 4 hours. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt immediately before serving. The pie will keep refrigerated for 4 days or at room temperature for 2 days.