When The Beatles performed their song "Honey Pie" about being so in love it was driving them crazy, it's more likely that they were directing their serenade toward a girl than a creamy dessert. Still, the latter deserves a love song all its own. Not to be confused with towering honey cake, honey pie boasts a custardy center, beautiful golden-brown top, and earthy sweetness bound in a classic crust. Think of it as the slightly more charismatic sibling of buttermilk chess pie.
Whether you're using your baking prowess to go off-book or you're following a recipe — such as our version of salted honey pie, which might remind some of the cult-favorite Salty Honey Pie from Brooklyn bakery Four & Twenty Blackbirds — not just any jar of honey will do. After all, it's the star of the show. Here are some tips for making the right selection, plus some notes on how different varieties of honey will bring different colors and flavors to your pie.
Spring For The Local Stuff
If you've been sleeping on a nice jar of honey in your pantry, this type of pie is the perfect reason to crack it open. Since it is the star ingredient of the dessert, you're going to taste it in every bite, so it ought to be the best you can find. Luckily, bees are everywhere, so your nearest farmers market or organic grocery store likely boasts wares from local honey purveyors.
Why does it matter? Not only does local, organic honey have antimicrobial properties that can help ward off allergies, but it also tends to have a richer flavor than ultra-processed honey, whose aromas are dulled by heating and pasteurizing.
As for all the different types of honey to pick from, the particular variety you choose depends on how you like your pie. If you're going for a version that doesn't shock your tastebuds, opt for an accessible kind with a light color and delicate flavor, such as clover or wildflower. Looking for something a little brighter? Orange blossom honey, while light in flavor and hue, packs subtle citrus notes and gets perfectly bronzed in the oven.
Think Outside Of The Box
For a more robust honey pie, look for darker-hued varieties. Buckwheat honey is an easy-to-find option, but don't be afraid to experiment with less-common types culled from unexpected places.
Camille Cogswell, formerly known as the pastry chef at the lauded Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, told Epicurious that she is "totally enamored" with avocado honey. "It's got a darker profile, with a deep, robust flavor similar to molasses, but without the intense bitterness," Cogswell explained. She also noted that it has a mildly sweet profile, which might appeal to bakers trying to avoid a sugar rush. As a self-proclaimed "pie lady," per her Instagram, one can only imagine that Cogswell approves of using avocado honey in honey pie.
If you're hoping to impart even more unique flavor into your pie, you might consider supplementing your filling with a drizzle of infused honey. To do so, hold back a teaspoon or two of your base honey and use — for example — vanilla, chili, or lavender honey in its place.
So, the next time you're whipping up this dessert, keep these incredible-tasting versions in mind and your next pie is sure to be a hit.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.