Milk and Honey Pie

Milk and Honey Pie

By Sohla El-Waylly, Bon Appétit

A custard pie inspired by the milk and honey-based desserts across India, Bangladesh, and the Middle East, with milk powder in the meringue that makes it almost creamy in the middle, chewy on the outside—similar to the texture of pavlova. Use a mild honey so the flavor doesn’t overwhelm the pie. Mounding the meringue onto the pudding while it is still hot helps it set better so you don’t end up with a weepy, slip-slide-y meringue.


Yield: Serves 6-8



Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces

Honey pudding

  • ¾ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup (45 g) cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Milk meringue and assembly

  • ¼ cup (35 g) nonfat milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar, divided
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt



Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk sugar, salt, and 1½ cups (188 g) flour in a medium bowl. Add butter and toss to coat and distribute. Using your hands and working quickly, rub and smash butter into flat irregular pieces. (Be careful not to overwork; you don’t want to soften the butter too much. Just make sure you smash each piece at least once.) Drizzle ⅓ cup cold water over and mix with a rubber spatula, smashing in butter, until dough mostly comes together; it will be dry and shaggy.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather dough into a rough 1½"-thick square. Lightly flour dough and gently press and roll out to a ½"-thick square. Fold dough in half, then in half again to make a square. Repeat rolling and folding process 2 more times. Pat dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Dust dough with flour and place on a lightly floured surface. Using rolling pin, gently press out dough while rotating until just under 1" thick. Lightly flour both sides of dough and continue rolling out, stopping often to turn dough and flour, to a 13"–14" round about ⅛" thick. Brush off excess flour on both sides. Fold dough in half, then in half again, and transfer to a 9"-diameter pie dish. Unfold into dish and lift edges to allow dough to slump into dish. Gently press into dish. Using kitchen shears or a small, sharp knife, trim off any excess dough so you have about 1½" overhang. Fold overhang under dough and crimp edges as desired. Chill in freezer at least 1 hour.
  • Place a rack on the lower third of oven; preheat to 350°. Line crust with 2 layers of foil, making sure to cover edges. Fill with pie weights or dried beans (go all the way to the top). Set on a baking sheet and bake 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes.
  • Remove pie weights and foil. Use the same foil to cover edges of crust, leaving sides and center exposed. Return to oven and bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool.

Do ahead: Dough can be made 3 months ahead; cover and keep frozen. Thaw at room temperature 1–2 hours or in the fridge overnight before using. Crust can be baked 3 days ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Honey pudding

  • Whisk honey, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add egg yolks and eggs and whisk until well combined. Stream in milk and cream, whisking until incorporated. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. As soon as you see that first bubble, set a timer and simmer 1 minute. (This ensures that the cornstarch is fully hydrated and a protein-dissolving enzyme found in eggs is deactivated.) Pour into pie crust; smooth surface.

Milk meringue and assembly

  • With rack still in lower third of oven, preheat oven to 350° if needed. Pulse milk powder, cornstarch, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a spice mill or blender until fine; set aside.
  • Pour water into a clean medium saucepan to come 2" up sides; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk egg whites, salt, and remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer just to combine. Set over pan of simmering water and cook, stirring and scraping bottom and sides constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 5–7 minutes. Fit bowl back on stand mixer, attach whisk, and beat mixture on high speed until thick and fluffy and meringue balls up inside whisk, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; sprinkle reserved milk powder mixture over and beat just to combine.
  • Using a spoon, pile meringue over pudding and spread to edges, creating big swoops and swirls. Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 250°. Bake until meringue is golden brown and crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside, about 75 minutes. Chill 3 hours before serving. Slice with a barely damp serrated knife for clean portions.

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