I announced earlier that in honor of March Madness, I decided to create a dessert bracket with 16 styles of desserts. I’ve invited 16 great chefs to each take a category and make a recipe to enter into battle. I ranked the 16 based on my view of which was the favorite and like any bracket, the favorites are matched against the lower seeds. I won’t give you my seeding because I do not want to artificially impact your choices.
I will post a pairing each week on Wednesday and Thursday and open the polls for voting. The polls will be open from Thursday until the following Wednesday (before the next pair posts). The winner of each matchup with the most votes will move on to the next round and the chef will produce another recipe for their new matchup. The overall winner will receive any prizes I can acquire. To date the winner will receive:
- Dodo Book for Cooks
- A beautiful Bamboo Cutting Board with a Butterfly Motif, graciously donated by competitor Lindy (The Kozy Nook)
This week’s pairing is:
Pie (Non-Fruit) vs. Ice Cream
Today we have Stephanie from The Haute Meal with a great pie for us…
I’m so excited to be a part of this round of Diced! I always see these contests and wonder how to enter, and it’s only through sheer blind luck that I happened to see the announcement for this one. I guess it was just my time, y’all. Serendipity and all that.
I happened to draw “non-fruit pies,” but when I saw my category my first thought wasn’t about pie at all, but about cheesecake. More specifically, it was about a goat cheese cheesecake that I’d previously considered making for a dinner party: smooth, creamy, and topped with lavender honey. Oh, if only I’d been assigned cheesecake! But then I remembered another recipe I’d come across for Salty Honey Pie by those crazy dames at Four and Twenty Blackbirds, and I knew I had the solution. Why not combine the flavors of the two desserts? The soft tang of goat cheese would be wonderful against the sweetness of a honey custard pie. I just knew it would be an amazing flavor combination.
Weird moment: I even had organic dried lavender just laying around my house waiting to be put to good use. What kind of crazy coincidence is that? And who the heck keeps organic lavender around the house for no reason?? ME, that’s who. So what did I do? I made a jar of lavender-infused honey. #MarthaStewartInTheHouse #ButNotHouseArrest
[Photo Caption]: My favorite part of any photo session is the shot where I have to take a bite so I can show you the inside.
Now, don’t panic. No one is saying you have to make infused honey. You can totally use the stuff out of the little jar that’s shaped like a bear. But the honey has such a prominent flavor in the pie that if you happen to get your hands on some magnificent flavored honey… Say, if it falls off a truck or you swipe it from grandma’s pantry… Look, I’m not going to ask how you got it, but just think of that honey like a magnificent peacock; you gotta let it fly, baby.
[Photo Caption]: Everyone loves pie. Seriously. It’s a scientific fact.
The original honey pie recipe called for a sprinkle of sea salt on the finished dessert, but I wanted something that would provide extra texture against the gooey pie and creamy topping, which I decided on a whim would be candied pistachios. Let me just say this one thing: if you make nothing else from this recipe, the candied pistachios are worth it. You may hate goat cheese, and you may not be able to roll out dough worth a damn, but if you make these nuts you’ll never regret it. They’re sweet and salty, and so crunchy that they practically snap in your mouth like Pop Rocks. We found ourselves eating them like candy. Don’t eat too many, though! They add such wonderful contrast to each bite of pie that you’ll want to make sure you don’t run out.
[Photo Caption]:My honey smashing some honey pie.
The finished product is so delicious, with the floral notes of the lavender adding subtle undertones to the flavor of the pie, and the wonderful variety of flavors and textures in each bite. Everything just seems to work really well together. It’s a little hard to put it into words, but I’ll try:
Sugar (doo doo doo do do do)
Ahh, honey, honey (doo doo doo do do do)
You are my candy girl, and you got me wantin’ you!
Sorry – I couldn’t resist!
Honey Pie with Chèvre Whipped Cream and Candied Pistachios
Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
The pie crust, chèvre whipped cream, and candied pistachios can all be made in advance. The whipped cream and pie crust will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The nuts may be stored on the shelf in an airtight container.
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup roasted pistachios, shelled
Crust (makes a single crust):
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (about 6.25 oz)
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into pieces
2 tbsp cold vodka
2 tbsp ice water
Flour for rolling out the dough
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp white cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (regular vanilla extract is fine)
Chèvre Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz goat cheese, softened
1 tbsp honey
For the pistachios: Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Whisk together the sugar, egg white, and salt in a medium bowl just until bubbles form, and then fold in the nuts.
Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the sugar coating has caramelized to a hard glaze on the nuts – around 50 minutes total. Cool and store in an airtight container.
For the whipped cream: Beat together the goat cheese, honey, and 1 tbsp of the cream until the mixture is smooth and well combined. With the mixer running, steadily drizzle in the rest of the cream until it has all been added. Continue to beat until the cream is thick and just holds stiff peaks.
For the crust: Process the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined (pulse briefly), then scoop out 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and set aside. Add the butter and shortening and process until the dough forms clumps and all the flour is coated. Scrape down the bowl. Add the reserved flour mixture and pulse until it’s evenly distributed and the dough clumps have broken up – about 4 to 6 pulses.
Empty the dough into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the water and vodka. Mix in the water, pressing the dough until it sticks together in a nice ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap, or seal in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for an hour.
Roll out the dough so that it will fit a 9″ pan, and place it in your desired pan. Trim any excess dough, or tuck it under and crimp the edges as desired. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the beaten egg whites all over the bottom and sides of the pie crust (this will keep the crust from turning soggy). Then pop the rolled out crust back into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For the pie: Beat together the butter, sugar, salt and cornmeal to make a thick paste. Add the honey, vanilla and vinegar, and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, blending them in between each addition. Scrape down the bowl again (make sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl), and then blend in the heavy cream until combined.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and bake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top has puffed up, and is golden brown and crusted over. The center will be slightly wobbly.
Remove the pie to a wire rack and cool completely. Serve wedges of pie topped with the goat cheesewhipped cream and candied pistachios.