Salt 'n' caramel, salt 'n' chocolate, buttered popcorn ice cream with bacon and pecans (believe!). Salted sweets are so in right now. I've fallen in to the fad too because you know what, it's delicious (I'm making salted caramels for Christmas gifts--spoiler alert!!). I saw this recipe on the South Brooklyn Post from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop in Gowanus, and thought it sounded like a different (yet familiar, see maple pie, and sugar pie) yummy take on the sweet 'n' salt. Oh boy, it was. Here's my version.
Salty Honey Pie
adapted from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Nothing in the House pie crust, halved
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablepsoons white or yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup honey (I used raw, local honey)
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract, in a pinch)
1 or 2 tablespoons flake sea salt for finishing (pink salt looks quite nice!)
1. Prepare half of Nothing in the House pie crust as per the directions, reserving leftover egg for an egg wash. Chill dough at least one hour before rolling and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix melted butter, sugar, salt, and cornmeal to form a thick paste. Add honey, vanilla, and vinegar, then beaten eggs and cream. Blend well by hand or with an electric mixer. Pour filling into pie shell, flute crust (or apply crust design) and brush on an egg wash. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until fillings is puffed, only slightly wobbly in the middle, and golden brown on top. Cool for one hour. Sprinkle with flake sea salt and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
For the crust design, I cut leaves using a Williams-Sonoma crust cutter I got at a local church sale, and overlapped them, securing them to the bottom crust with an egg wash. To make sure they stayed put in the oven, I froze the crust for about 30 minutes before adding the filling and baking.
Gotta say, this pie is sooo goood. The top of the filling gets a bit crusty, while underneath it is smooth and oozy, like a creme brûlée. The small amount of cornmeal gives it a little grit, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not too too sweet (I mean it does consist mostly of honey), but more smooth and floral.
For the salt flakes on top, I used Himalayan pink and white, which adds a nice contrast. I took the pie to a music party and potluck with some new friends and strangers.