When a friend of mine took up beekeeping this spring, I started keeping track of recipes that prominently feature honey. Given that my friend’s a bit of a pie guy, when Katya pointed out this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I received my first jar of Spiderdoodle Honey from Doug about a month ago, and while I’ve been enjoying it in my weekend coffee (and in honey-lemon-ginger teas while recovering from a cold), I hadn’t baked with it just yet. This weekend we went out for dinner to celebrate his birthday, so I figured it was the perfect occasion to bake him a pie.
I got a tiny bit creative with the crust, since the rest of the recipe was pretty straightforward. I keep seeing gorgeous pie crust designs various places on the web, and I’ve never tried anything fancier than a lattice. Since this didn’t have a top crust, the only place to play was the border, so I braided it.
It was easier than I thought, but you have to be really gentle with the strips of dough. Fortunately, the cream cheese pie dough from Rose is super forgiving – and I use nothing else for pastry, any more.
I haven’t quite hit perfect timing on partially pre-baked crusts, yet. You want it baked enough that it won’t get soggy when a wet filling is added, but not so baked that it burns during the second baking cycle.
Despite my careful watch, it got just a bit too dark in the first round. As a result, I actually partially cooked the filling in a pot on the stove, before putting it in the shell & back in the oven. I didn’t want it coming out with a burnt crust and under-done filling.
This is what it looked like straight out of the oven. At this point, it was still super jiggly, but given that it was still bubbling furiously, I figured the filling would still be cooking for a few minutes even after removal from the oven.
After it cooled, I sprinkled it with coarse sea salt. The recipe called for flake salt, which I couldn’t find, and I thought the crunch of the coarse salt would make a nice contrasting texture, which it did. The recipe also called for 1-2 tbsp of salt, but I just couldn’t bring myself to sprinkle on more than a few (large) pinches. The tasters said it was just the right amount of salt. 🙂
I’m not sure if I’d change anything if I were to make this again. Maybe throw in some raisins, like a giant butter tart. This is basically sugar pie (tarte au sucre), but with honey.
I ended up exchanging the pie for another jar of honey. 🙂 Fair trade, I think! I want to try honey caramels, next!