I first tasted this pie at the 2015 Cville Pie Fest. Sweet, rich, just a touch of salt and caramelization.... Gah... It was tasty. It was good enough to take second place (behind a succulent pig and fig savor pie). Since then, I've seen it everywhere.
It snuck into my repertoire through running. A local group does a Memorial Day mountain run. Sweet and salty treat, this sounded perfect for the post-run picnic. It was a hit. It was a "Hey, you're bringing that salted honey pie thing next year, right?" kind of hit. Then it showed up at an aid station at the Grindstone 100. The runners killed it. And they kill it year after year.
It's an easy pie, very much like a chess pie. Fully bake the shell. When it's cool, mix the filling, pour, bake, cool, eat. It's perfect for a Spring day with a cup of black coffee.
Overall, I’m happy. It's a solid pie. Sure, I’ve baked it several times, but I’ve often rushed the mixing, used cold eggs, and wound up with small flecks of butter. This time, the eggs were room temp, and I waited till the butter and sugar had formed a paste before slowly incorporating the honey and eggs. In baking patience goes a long way.
The only negative is the cornmeal. What’s usually sitting on my pantry shelf is a coarse, stone-ground yellow meal. That just doesn’t work with the custardy filling. I completely see how a finer ground meal would give a nice toothsome feel to the filling.
And this simple pie will probably lend itself well to dressing up. Honey-Thyme? Honey-Ginger? Apple Blossom Honey?
And let’s not talk about the styling of the well-lit pics. Food styling isn’t my forté.
One Fully Baked 9" Pie Shell
1/2c Butter, Melted
3 Large Eggs
1/2c Heavy Cream
2tsp Vinegar (White or Apple Cider)
Flaky Salt for Sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Combine melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla till they form a paste.
Slowly incorporate honey, then the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides and bottom. Stir in the cream and vinegar.
Pour into the baked shell and bake 40-50 minutes till the filling is almost set. (It should jiggle like jello.) The filling will turn a deep, golden brown.
Cool and sprinkle with flaky salt. Kosher works, or you can go with Fleur de Sel for company.