Honey pie with a Mediterranean twist

Honey pies. Yeah, being raised by immigrants, I had no fucking clue what that was growing up. But after hearing about it when I visited Greece, I figured, why not do some research on how to make this unusual dessert? The texture of the filling is almost like a rich pumpkin pie while the flavors were just deep, caramel, and nutty notes from the honey. I loved every bite of that pie. Granted, who doesn’t like pie? Bad people, that’s who. So if you’re a good person, then you’d like this recipe. Unless you’re allergic to nuts. Or eggs. In which case, your life sucks I’m sorry.  I wish there was a way you guys can enjoy this without it setting off your allergies.

The pastry, I infused it with honey and pecan flour, because it makes it crunchier and it’ll tie into my honey filling better. So don’t you dare criticize me for NOT using honey enough, because I totally used it, muthafuckas. I topped the tart with goat cheese because it works with honey. So if you don’t like goat cheese, sucks for you LEARN TO LOVE IT. It’s not as gross when you mellow it out with heavy cream and HONEY. Sorry for typing like an 8th grade drama queen, I’m just really tired and whatever.

This recipe makes 4 mini honey pies or 1 big one

For the pastry crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; cold
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans; pulverized into a fine powder
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Mix together the flour, nut powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Crumb with the butter, and then add in the honey and cold water. Mix into a smooth dough. Chill for about 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8th an inch. Place dough in a lightly floured tart pan. Trim and then chill.

For the filling:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (browned)
6 tablespoons honey
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh figs*

Heat the butter in a pot until the butter is browned. Add in the honey, flour, and heavy cream. Whisk until room temperature and then add in the egg. Continue whisking and then add in salt and vanilla, and then finally, vinegar. Pour into the unbaked pastry shell and bake together for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. If fresh figs are available, slice into halves and place, pink side-up, into the filling of the tarts before baking them.

For the balsamic figs:
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
a pinch of salt
2-4 black figs (dried or fresh)
2 teaspoons agar agar

Combine water, balsamic, honey, agar, and salt. If the figs are dried, reduce the figs with the liquid. If the figs are fresh, reduce the liquid by half separately, and then add in the figs. Cook the figs in the liquid until they absorb a substantial amount of the poaching liquid. Allow to cool.

For the whipped goat cheese:
3 tablespoons goat cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whip together heavy cream, honey, vanilla, and salt into stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, whip goat cheese until light and airy. Fold the two together.

For the honey nut praline:
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon corn syrup
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Reduce water, sugar, honey, and corn syrup until it begins to turn golden brown. Add in the butter and stir in the nuts. Spread onto a parchment or silopat sheet. Allow to cool and harden, and then blitz with a food processor. Alternatively, you can smash the brittle to pieces in a bag. The end product should be a fine powder. Use a sieve to guarantee that consistency.

Remove tart from baking tray. Top with a quenelle of goat cheese and one or two poached figs. Dust with the praline powder.

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