Friday, September 23, 2011


ph: joshu Kristal

It's been raining in New York and there's nothing like foul weather to inspire a girl to bake pie. But not just any pie; something melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Like the pies at Four & Twenty Blackbirds. I haven't been able to stop thinking about their delicious Salty Honey Pie. Here's the original recipe by owners Melissa and Emily Elsen via South Brooklyn Post.

Salty Honey Pie
9" pre-baked pie shell (recipe below)
1/2 cup butter melted
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp white cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup honey
3 eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 or 2 tbsp flake sea salt for finishing (Maldon is a good choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Melt butter and combine with 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.
  3. Pour the filling into a pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350º F for 45-60 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
(recipe makes one double crusted, 9-inch pie)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8-10 tbsps of ice water with cider vinegar, or more as needed (combine 1 cup cold water, 1/8 cup cider vinegar and ice).
  1. 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.
  2. Slowly add the ice water and vinegar mixture and bring dough completely together by hand, again being careful not to overwork. Aim to create a marbleized effect, so that the butter is still visible.
  3. Divide into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or more before use.
  4. 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.
  5. Line the rolled-out crust with tinfoil or unwaxed parchment paper, add pie weights or about 1 cup of dry beans if you don't have pie weights. Distribute them evenly.
  6. Bake in a 375º oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling with custard.

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