Honey Pie

Honey Pie

When famed Brooklyn pie shop Four and Twenty Blackbirds opened its doors and our eyes to their salted honey pie in 2010, all of NYC lost their minds. This legendary pie has a silky honey filling encased in a buttery crust and is rounded out with a lightly caramelized top and flakes of Maldon salt.

A Modern Twist on Chess Pie

Although this pie one of Four and Twenty Blackbirds’ signature original creations, it has ties to more traditional southern custard-based pies like buttermilk and chess pie. Both pies contain dairy, eggs, butter, sugar, and a thickener with the main differences being the type of dairy and thickener used. Chess pies frequently use milk, cream, and cornmeal while buttermilk pies use (surprise!) buttermilk and flour or cornstarch.

Bee Selective When Choosing Honey

For my version of honey pie, I browned the butter for a rich, nutty depth of flavor. Since honey is the star of the show here, the type of honey used is important. I always try to use local honey since it supports your local farmers and is less processed. Any high quality raw honey will work as well.

Different honeys have different flavors so keep that in mind when selecting the type of honey for this pie. You can go mild with a wildflower honey or choose something with a bold flavor profile, like buckwheat honey, for a more intense honey kick.

“Every element of this recipe is wonderful – from the homemade crust to the buttery custard filling and the decadent honey cream. Don’t over-bake your filling as it will continue to set after it’s out of the oven, so start to check it at the 40-minute mark.” —Julia Hartbeck

Honey Pie/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour, more as needed

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 5 1/2 ounces (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup raw honey, preferably local

  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the Honey Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey, preferably local

  • 1 tablespoon lightly packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Steps to Make It

For the Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make honey pie crust

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Combine the flour, cold butter, salt, and sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.

    cubes of butter in flour in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats /Julia Hartbeck

  3. Start the mixer on low speed for about 10 seconds then switch to medium speed. Continue to paddle, breaking up the butter until the chunks are the size of small peas, about 3 minutes.

    mixed butter and flour in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats /Julia Hartbeck

  4. With the mixer running, drizzle in the ice water until the dough comes together. Do not overmix. It should look like a shaggy mass but hold its shape when pressed together. 

    honey pie crust dough in stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats /Julia Hartbeck

  5. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten it into a disc, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to rest.

    honey pie crust wrapped in plastic

    The Spruce Eats /Julia Hartbeck

  6. Once the dough has chilled and rested, remove it from the fridge and place the disc onto a floured work surface. Dust the top with more flour and roll out the dough to a 14-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. 

    rolled out honey pie crust dough

    The Spruce Eats /Julia Hartbeck

  7. Carefully roll it up onto the rolling pin and drape it over your pie pan. Lightly lay the dough into the bottom of the pan and press it into the sides. There will be some overhang. Do not stretch your dough, this will cause it to shrink in the oven.

    honey pie crust in a pie pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges however you desire. Place the pie pan into the freezer for at least an hour. It is important for the crust to be frozen when putting it in the oven so it retains its shape and doesn’t get soggy.

    honey pie crust

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

For the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F.

    ingredients to make honey pie filling

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Cut the butter into small chunks and place in a small saucepan over medium heat to melt.

    butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Once the butter is completely melted, turn the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the butter until it turns a toasty amber color, about 8 minutes.

    melted butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Remove the brown butter from the heat, pour into a heat-proof vessel, and set aside.

    melted butter in a measuring cup

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    whipped eggs in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Whisk together the honey and buttermilk in a small pot over medium heat and bring just to a boil.

    buttermilk heating a saucepan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  7. Slowly add the hot honey mixture to the egg mixture while whisking until completely homogeneous.

    honey pie filling in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  8. Add the browned butter, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk to combine.

    honey pie filling in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  9. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pour the custard into the shell.

    unbaked honey pie

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  10. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is a deep amber color and the crust is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes (start checking for doneness early). The center should still jiggle like a soft set jelly, it will continue to set as it cools.

    baked honey pie

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  11. Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 3 hours before placing it in the fridge.

    honey pie cooling on a wire rack

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

For the Honey Whipped Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make honey whipped cream

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Combine the heavy cream, honey, brown sugar, and salt in a stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.

    heavy cream and honey in a stand mixer

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Whisk on medium-high speed until you get silky stiff peaks. No over whipping, we’re not trying to make butter here!

    whipped cream in a stand mixer

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl, cover in plastic and place in the fridge to chill until ready to use.

    whipped cream in a bowl covered with plastic

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. The pie can be served at room temperature or cold with or without a dollop of honey whipped cream.

    honey pie with whipped cream

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Tip

I prefer raw local honey, but if that’s not available regular store bought honey will work.

Recipe Variations

•  If honey altogether is not your thing, try using maple or golden syrup. 

•  Too lazy to bake? Leave it to the experts to deliver a pie to your door!

How To Store or Freeze

The pie can be kept in an airtight container or wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Make Ahead

The pie crust can be made ahead of time and kept wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. If freezing the dough make sure to thaw it in the fridge the night before you want to bake the pie.

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