Spoiler alert–the next few weeks are all David Lebovitz recipes all time. I’ve probably already talked about how much I enjoy the author, blogger and former Chez Pannise baker. But have I talked about his Instagram (@davidlebovitz)? I don’t experience a ton of social media envy but Mr. Lebovitz curates his gram very, very well (and enjoyably).
I can’t remember if I saw this pretzel crust on his instagram or blog but I knew I had to try it out with “why didn’t I think of that” urgency.
He paired it with a salted honey filling. And since honey pie sounded simultaneously sounded delicious and novel, I followed suit.
A note on honey. I used what I already had in the pantry–which I think was an everyday clover honey. Mr. Lebovitz suggests using a darker honey because it is less sweet. About a week after I made this pie, I was chatting with a former student who had spent some time during her after graduation travels working on a kibbutz in New Zealand that made manuka honey (produced from the Manuka tree). Manuka honey is pretty pricey–but also supposed to be medicinally magical. So next time I might spring for some Manuka honey for a salted honey pie…as if pie could get any more transcendental.
While I didn’t find the honey taste to be particularly overt, the combination of salty pretzel and creamy rich filling was incredibly satisfying (at least until I wanted another bite).
Salted Honey Pie with Pretzel Pie Crust
for the crust
- 1 1/4 C (140g) pretzel crumbs (I ground mine in the food processor)
- 3 TBS sugar
- 6 TBS (85g) unsalted melter butter plus additional for preparing dish
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly butter a pie plate or pan with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are saturated with the butter and everything is moistened and evenly mixed.
3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie plate or pan and use the heel of your hand or the bottom of a coffee mug (TMH preferred method) to press the crust mixture across the bottom of the pans and up the sides.
4. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until it’s slightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
for the pie and filling
- 8 TBS (113g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 C (45g) sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 C (240g) honey
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 C (120g) sour cream, heavy cream, or crème fraîche (TMH: I used heavy cream because I had it in the fridge)
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
- flaky sea salt, to finish the pie
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and honey.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the sour cream and vinegar. Scrape the filling into the baked pie shell.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is almost set. It should still jiggle, but not be watery. (If the edges of the crust get too dark during baking, use one of the techniques listed in the headnote to mitigate that.)
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.
Note: Mr. Lebovitz offers a variation whereby you replace 3 TBS of the dairy (cream/sour cream etc) with bourbon or dark rum. Someone needs to do this and report back.
My mom has a thing for bees. More specifically, botanical bees. For this reason, I am always on the hunt for cool botanical bee things. Tea towels, serving dishes, craft punches, I’ve found them all over the year and often given them as Mother’s Day gifts.
You know what else my mom also likes? Cocktails. Who knows why, but one of my earliest memories involves camping in the summer and the adults sitting around a newly-lit fire in camp chairs, as the shadows grew longer, enjoying “cocktail hour.” Of course, considering the gaggle of children they would bring along on these trips, cocktail hour may have started around 8:00 am every morning.
Always one for parsimony, I’ve finally found a way to honor two of my mom’s loves together: the bees knees cocktail.
Rumor has it that this concoction came about during prohibition as a way of making bathtub gin more palatable. The secret ingredient is a simple honey syrup.
I’ve seen this little libation topped with lavender as well. However, it’s too early in the season for lavender. So, I used a paper-thin lemon slice.
Chin chin and happy Mother’s Day!
The Bees Knees
- 2 ounces gin (while bathtub gin would lend authenticity, I am partial to Tangueray though all the cool kids are drinking Hendricks
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup (see below for recipe)
- lemon slices or lavender sprigs to garnish
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add-in all liquid ingredients. Shake until the shaker grows so cold you think your fingers might stick to it.
- Strain and serve garnished with something pretty.
- Add equal parts water and honey to a small sauce pan (to make thing even, I use 1 cup). Whisk until honey dissolves. Bring to a boil. When the liquid reaches a boil, turn off the heat. Allow to cool. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of months. But, it won’t last that long.