If you live in New York or are visiting anytime soon, and you haven't been to Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in Brooklyn, you HAVE to go. They make the most amazing pies on the planet. And in case you aren't anywhere near NYC, you're in luck because they have a cookbook and it's my new favorite collection of recipes. I'm a little late to the party because it came out a couple years ago but that doesn't make their inventive, foolproof pies any less exciting. The fact that they're also organized by season makes the book even better because I'm seriously running out of ideas for winter desserts.
The pie they're most well known for is their Salty Honey. It's sweet, salty, custardy, and flaky all at once. It's truly a thing of beauty and I'm so glad they decided to share their recipe. I'm now mapping out my plan of attack for making pretty much every other pie included in the book.
*Special shoutout to Francesca and Eunice for spending a full day baking with me!*
Four & Twenty Blackbirds' Salty Honey Pie
From the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book (I seriously did not even make the tiniest change to this one because these ladies know their pies)
- For the pie crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons white/cider vinegar
- For the filling:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons white/cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons flak sea salt
For the pie crust:
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and rub or cut the it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your hands, until only pea-sized chunks remain.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine water, vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until fully incorporated. Continue to add ice water mixture, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight.
On a lightly flour surface, roll dough out to 1/8" thick circle that is about 12" across. Carefully roll dough around rolling pin and place over a 9-inch pie pan. Press dough into edges and cut off excess. Crimp edges of dough and place in freezer until firm, about 1 hour.
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt, and vanilla. Stir in honey, eggs, heavy cream, and vinegar.
Place frozen pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet, and strain filling through a fine mesh sieve into the pie shell. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pie when the edges start to set about 30 minutes through. The pie is done when the edges are set and the middle is solid but still jiggles. Allow to cool completely, sprinkle liberally with sea salt, and serve.