The Salty Honey Pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn is a thing of beauty. Made with an all-butter crust and filled with butter, sugar, cream, and honey, it’s hard to forget this iconic New York City Pie. The touch of flaky sea salt on top is the perfect accompaniment to the rich, full-flavored pie. One bite and you’ll be head over heels– It’s no wonder we named this family-owned pie shop the best in NYC.
The ladies at Four & Twenty Blackbirds have graciously allowed us to share their Four & Twenty Blackbirds Salty Honey Pie Recipe from their cookbook (which you definitely need a copy of btw). If you want to enjoy your pie in the early evening, start mid-morning so you have plenty of time for each portion of the pie-making process.
You’ll start by making the all-butter crust. Refrigerate, then freeze before you make the filling. The filling comes together very easily, and the pie bakes in less than an hour. The hardest part is no doubt waiting 2-3 hours before eating, but it’s well worth your patience from the very first bite.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds is currently doing pickup, next day delivery throughout the city, and local Brooklyn delivery is available with Grubhub, Seamless, Caviar, and Doordash.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds Salty Honey Pie Recipe
Single All-Butter Crust
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ganulated sugar
- 1 stick (1/4 pound) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp white cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (Nielsen-Massey makes a readily available one)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 to 2 tsp flake sea salt for finishing
- Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; becareful not to overblend).
- Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the lfourmixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust tiem to mellow. Dough is good refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month if wrapped tightly.
- After dough has refrigerated for one hour, remove from fridge 5-10 minutes before you begin rolling. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Place the dough in the center of the work surface, and beginning from slightly below the denterof the disc, roll the dough away from you, using one even stroke. After each stroke, spin the disc an eigth to a quarter turn counterclockwise and roll again. You can use a french rolling pin for this part if you have one. Sprinkle more flour underneath and on top of the dough and on the rolling pin as you work; use just enough to prevent the dough from sticking.
- As the disc becomes larger, try to not overstretch the center of the dough. If you are using a french rolling pin, switch to a regular rolling pin at this point, once the dough circle is about 8 to 9 inches across. Continue rolling in the same fashion as you were before until your dough is 2 to 3 inches larger than the pan you are using and about 1/8 inch in thickness.
- Fold the dough disc in half aand laayu across one side of a well-buttered pie pan, positioning the seam in the center. Unfold the disc and gently slide and fit the dough down into the pan; do not pull or streth the dough. Make sure there are no gaps between the dough and the pan; if there are air bubbles burst them with a fork. Trim the dough overhang to allow 1 to 1 1/2 inches of excess, measuring from the inner rim of the pan.
- To prepare for crimping, roll and pinch the excess dough edge under so that it sits directly on top of the pan's rim. Do not be afraid to pinch tightly; otherwise, the crust may unravel while baking. If your fingers are sticking to the dough, dust them with a little extra flour. Continue to fold and pinch the dough all the way around the circumnferenceof the pan unti you have created a "wall" of dough that can be shaped and fluted. Next, use the index finger and thumb of one hand to create the letter C that the thumb of your opposite hand fits perfectly into. hold this C at the outside of the crust "wall" and push inward while simultaneously pushing your opposite thumb into the center of the C from the inside of the crust "wall". Use this as your mold to crimp the edges of the pie all the way around.
- Transfer pie crust to freezer. Crust must be frozen before filling and baking.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt, and vanilla paste. Stir in the honey and the eggs one at a time, followed byhthe heavy cream and vinegar.
- Place the frozen pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell, or strain it into a separate bowl and then pour it into the shell. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, 30 to 35 minutes through baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed up high and the center is no longer liquid but looks set like gelatin and is golden grown on the top. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle with flake sea salt. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
- The pie will keep refrigerated for 4 days or at room temperature for 2 days.