Salty Honey Pumpkin Pie

SERVES: 8

This pie lands somewhere between a honey chess pie, a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. The glassy spiced custard is light on the pumpkin, and heavy on the honey. It eats like custard, but tastes like a pumpkin pie. I don’t really know how to describe it, all I know is, it’s the pie mashup of my dreams. . Depending on the type of honey you use, you may see a layer of honey foam rise to the top of the pie as it bakes–that’s totally okay. If you don’t mind the way it looks, leave it as is. If you want a truly glassy looking pie like the one you see in the image, follow the instructions below to remove the foam, revealing the smooth custard beneath.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

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Produce

  • 2” fresh ginger

Pantry

  • 2 ½ cups raw pecans
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree (Libby’s is best)
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • Flaky sea salt

Dairy

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
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1. Make and blind bake the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 300.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 ½ cups pecans, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon salt. Process until the pecans are very finely ground and no larger pieces remain.
  • In a medium saucepan (3-5 quarts), melt 10 tablespoons butter over medium.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the pecan mixture, pulsing to incorporate. (Leave the remaining melted butter aside for now.)
  • Separate one egg white from the yolk, reserving the yolk for later. Add the egg white to the pecans and pulse again until the mixture forms a dough–it will come together when squeezed between your fingers.
  • Lightly brush a deep dish pie plate all over with some of the reserved melted butter. Dump the pecan mixture into the pie plate and use your hands and the back of a flat bottomed measuring cup to press it evenly into the pie plate and up the sides, letting it creep up and onto to the rim of the pie plate by about ½”. Take your time with this making sure everything is evenly spread out and the crust rises up to the top of the pan. Crimp the edges if desired.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until the crust no longer appears wet and is just barely set, but not yet browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Make the honey pumpkin custard filling:

  • Wipe out the food processor, and return it to its base. Add the reserved egg yolk, 3 whole eggs, ½ cup canned pumpkin, ¾ cup sugar, ¾ cup honey, ½ cup heavy cream, the remaining melted butter, 1 tablespoon cornmeal, ½ teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground or pre ground both work), 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse in a few long pulses until smooth.
  • Finely grate enough ginger to measure 2 teaspoons packed. Add it to the filling and pulse once more.
  • Pour the pumpkin filling into the medium saucepan that you used to melt the butter, scraping with a spatula so you don’t lose any! Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking the custard constantly until very hot but not yet boiling–you’ll turn the heat off just before you start to see the edges start to simmer, 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour into the pie crust.

3. Bake and finish:

  • Return the filled pie to the oven and bake until the custard is just set, and the center is barely jiggly, about 30-35 minutes. It should be set like jiggly jello, and may have a thin layer of pale foam that has risen to the top, depending on what type of honey you use. Some honeys will crystalize while in the oven and others will not. If your pie has a layer of foam, no worries, it’s easy to remove to reveal a glassy pie beneath: While the pie is still warm, take a piece of plastic wrap that is larger than the circumference of the pie and lay it on top of the pie, very very gently pressing to encourage the plastic to adhere to the top of the pie. Holding the plastic with two hands, peel it off of the pie. The foamy layer should come off with it. If you miss a few spots, you can always repeat this process again. Alternatively, you can brush the layer away with a pastry brush, it comes off very easily.
  • Let the pie cool fully and then either eat at room temperature day of, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle the pie generously with flaky sea salt.
  • Whip the remaining cups heavy cream to soft peaks (however is easiest for you)--it’s unsweetened intentionally–this pie is already very sweet! Serve pie with whipped cream.

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