recipe, sweet

Honey Pie

 This isn’t the sort of pie that makes a grand entrance. It isn’t the kind of dessert that has you stewing away in the kitchen for hours on end, nor does it tower above your cups and saucers when presented at the table. It is somewhat of a modest looking pie, but rewards those that give it a chance.

This honey pie is incredible. Honestly, incredible. A thin shortbread crust cradles a honey custard filling, garnished with flaked sea salt. This is the kind of pie that evolves on your palate. It’s hard to explain, you will simply just have to try! But the texture is very similar to a sugar pie or a maple pie.

This recipe originated from Nigella, but I’ve made some small changes: I doubled the amount of vanilla (which contributes heavily to the flavour dimensions), I used fine sea salt in the crust and filling, and I cooked it slightly longer than she recommends to get a deep golden colour and a delicious caramelized flavour.


Honey Pie


for the pie dough

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup light and mild olive oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (I used 2% milk)

for the filling

  • 7 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fine polenta (I used cornmeal)
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup good honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar


For the dough:

  1. Mix the flour, salt, oil and milk to form a rough, slightly damp, dough. I recommend doing it in a food processor if you have one. Once it is just mixed, press the mixture evenly into a 10-inch spring-form pie pan, and put it in the freezer for at least one hour. Can also be done the night before.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F and put in a baking sheet at the same time.

For the filling:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then add in the sugar, polenta, 2 tsp of sea salt flakes, and the vanilla.
  2. Add in the honey and beat in the eggs one at a time (be sure to start mixing the eggs in immediately, or the hot mixture will cook them and you will be left with scrambled eggs in your pie!). Add in the cream and the vinegar.
  3. Pour the mixture into the frozen pie crust, and place on the heated cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes (or up to 55 or 60 minutes) or until it reaches a soft-gel state in the middle (it will continue to set as it cools). Turn half-way through if your oven is somewhat inconsistent.
  4. Remove to a wire rack, sprinkle with sea salt flakes, and allow to cool completely- at least two hours. I prefer it best when cold.

Note: slice modestly- the pie is very rich! Serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche if desired, but I like mine solo.

Recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook Simply Nigella.

  • I love this sort of dish - simple and delicious, reminiscent of the comforting food one's grandmother might have made.
  • This is so elegant and simple and unfamiliar all at once! I love the idea of really featuring honey in a dessert, and not just using it as a generic sweetener. And the polenta! I didn't know you could do this kind of thing with polenta! My eyes have been opened! :)
  • I saw "honey pie" in the FBC forum, and my brain went "OMG!", hahaha! It's kinda like a honey-sweetened custard filling, eh? Reminds me of a maple pie I made last year. I think it had a similar texture.
  • that's a great description! It definitely is :)
  • Haha! The polenta adds a wonderous texture without altering the flavour- hence the recipe only calls for 1 tbsp :)
  • Yes, that's a very good comparison! I personally find the honey pie more flavourful though- it isn't just sweet.
  • In french we use to say : C'est une tuerie !
    Je confirme et j'avoue avoir mangé le dernier morceau...
  • haha :) Je peux le refaire en France bientôt!
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