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January 19, 2021
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Food + Drink

Pie Stars Share Recipe

By Lisa M. Collins
Salty Honey Pie by Melissa and Emily Elsen
Photo by Joshua Kristal

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Salty Honey Pie

By Melissa and Emily Elsen

Makes one 9-inch custard pie.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Have prepared one pre-baked pie shell of your choice. We use an all butter crust. Recipe below.

For filling:

1/2 c butter melted

3/4 c white sugar

2 Tbsp white cornmeal

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c honey

3 eggs

1/2 c cream

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 or 2 Tbsp flake sea salt for finishing (Maldon is a good choice)

All of the mixing can be done by hand, or with an electric mixer.

Melt butter and combine with the sugar, salt and cornmeal to make a thick paste. Add the honey, vanilla and vinegar and mix together. Fold in the eggs, add the cream and blend.

Pour the filling into a pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350 F 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 freshly whipped cream.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Crust

By Melissa and Emily Elsen

This recipe makes one double crusted, 9-inch pie.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8-10 tablespoons ice water with cider vinegar, or more as needed (combine 1 cup cold water, 1/8 cup cider vinegar and ice)

Whisk the dry ingredients together and blend with a hand-held pastry blender the chopped, cold 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 and bring the dough completely together by hand, again being careful not to overwork. Aim to create a marbleized effect, so that the butter is still visible.

Divide into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour or more before use.

To pre-bake a crust for a custard pie: Roll one disc of crust out to fit a 9-inch pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a buttered pie pan, and crimp the edges as desired. Allow to rest and cool in freezer or fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Line the rolled-out crust with tinfoil or unwaxed parchment paper, add pie weights or about a cup of dry beans if you don’t have pie weights. Distribute them evenly.

Bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling with custard.


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