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Salty Honey

I sat down to write this with Tradition! [1] from Fiddler on the Roof in my head, which may or may not have something to do with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapping this year. Bryan does a pretty mean Tevye, I suggest you ask him to sing Tradition next time you see him. He studied Russian for a semester in college, which adds a certain gravitas and authenticity to the performance. But I digress. Tradition!

I’ve mentioned before that I am not a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving. In past years I have served chicken, beef tenderloin, or even lasagna. This year, I am breaking my own tradition by serving turkey! This means that my turkey will in fact be completely nontraditional. I am making turkey in part because Bryan likes it so much and complains to his mom every year that I won’t make it, and in part because it is Gabe’s [2] first Thanksgiving and it seems like he should get the traditional experience for the first round. It also somehow just feels right this year. I am making turkey and mashed potatoes and friends and family are bringing vegetables and other good stuff.

But of course I am most interested in dessert. I am planning three pies for dessert (Tradition!). I am thinking of them as riffs on classics, and in lieu of pecan pie I am making this salted honey pie. I first made it a couple of weeks ago and it has become a favorite around here. It is one of those things that I find myself craving out of nowhere. It worked the same magic on Bryan. It is intensely sweet and honey-y, but that sweetness is tempered by a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt. It is the perfect balance, and one of my favorite pies. It is also a pie that can be made the day before and kept in the fridge. Does it get any better?!

I hope menu planning is going well for you and yours. I have lists and schedules forming. I’d love to hear what you’re all up to….

Salty Honey Pie (from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book [3]– which is probably the best-looking cookbook to be published in recent memory—that cover is perfect.)

Serves 8-10

Have ready and frozen one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan, crimped. Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla paste. Stir in honey and eggs, one at a time, followed by the cream and vinegar.

Place the frozen pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell.

Bake on the middle rack 45 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about 30 to 35 minutes through the baking time. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed up high, the center is no longer liquid, but looks set, like gelatin, and is golden brown on top.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle with flake sea salt. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 4 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

***My pie is a little dark, it didn’t effect the taste but next time I would pull it a shade or two lighter. Also, sprinkle a lot of salt on top of this pie. I used closer to the 2 teaspoons.