Meeting new people can often be inspiration for new recipes. In January I was introduced to the folks of TruBee Honey. One taste of their wildflower summer vintage took me back to being an 8-year-old kid, running around the neighborhood and sucking nectar out of honeysuckles. That’s the beauty of well-produced local honey. Once bottled, it lasts years and can still give a person those warm hints of summer, even if there’s a blizzard outside. This pie was created to do just that. It has a filling made with raw Tennessee honey, goat’s milk, and vanilla bean, and is baked in a pecan crust. To make this pie, you can certainly use any type of honey, but try using a local variety –– like anything consumable, the closer it’s made, the better it tastes. And as a bonus, this pie is gluten free!
This Recipe Yields: 1, 9-inch pie, about 8 serving
- 2 1/4 Cups pecans, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Cups goat’s milk
- 1/2 Cups heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 Teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise(or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 Cups honey
- 1/3 Cups granulated sugar
Poached Pear Topping
- 1/3 Cups maple syrup
- 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
- 2 pears, cored, peeled, and sliced thin lengthwise (Anjou, Bosc, or Bartlett work well. Choose pears that are ripe, but still slightly firm.)
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together chopped pecans and sugar in a medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir to incorporate. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch pie plate. Transfer to freezer while preparing the filling.
Filling: Whisk together goat’s milk, heavy cream, cornstarch, egg, egg yolks, and sea salt in a large bowl. Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the mixture; whisk to incorporate then set aside. Combine butter, honey, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until butter is fully melted.
Gradually whisk in the goat’s milk mixture. Continue whisking frequently until mixture just starts to boil and thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into prepared crust. Loosely cover pie with foil, then transfer to preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes. (Note: The pecans may burn if not covered during baking.) Remove pie from oven, discard foil and set aside to cool at room temperature while preparing the poached pear topping.
Poached Pear Topping: Bring 2 cups of water, maple syrup, and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add sliced pears and vanilla bean then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, stir and flip pears occasionally. Remove with slotted spoon, and transfer to paper towel. Blot slightly, then arrange pear slices in a fanned decorative pattern covering the top surface of the pie. Discard vanilla bean pod. Transfer finished pie to refrigerator and let cool 3 to 4 hours before serving.