Honey Pine Nut Pie

This recipe is a marriage of rich & gooey custard, sweet honey, and textured cornmeal pastry. It's worth the extra trip to the store for the pine nuts. Also: did you know pine nuts come from actual pine trees? (I didn't).


Here, I (shockingly) deviate from my deep commitment to all butter pie crust. I used a cornmeal shortbread crust, and believe me, what it's lacking in flakiness it makes up for in flavor. 


It's the perfect thing to make when you're craving something sweet & salty, or just when you have an awkward amount of leftover pine nuts after making pesto. 

Honey Pine Nut Pie

Yield: 8 servings 

Total cook time: 1 1/2 hours


Cornmeal Pastry

  • Flour: 1 cup (128g)
  • Yellow Cornmeal: 1/2 cup (80g)
  • Granulated Sugar: 3 tablespoons (40g)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon (3g)
  • Unsalted Butter (Cold, in chunks): 1/2 cup (1 stick)
  • Egg (Large): 1

Honey & Pine Nut Filling

  • Unsalted Butter (Melted): 1/2 cup (1 stick)
  • Granulated Sugar: 1/2 cup (114 g)
  • Yellow Cornmeal: 2 tablespoons (20g)
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon (1.5g)
  • Honey: 3/4 cup (230g)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tablespoon
  • Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Eggs (Large): 3
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: 3/4 cup (100g)
  • Flaky Sea Salt (Optional, Recommended): 1 tablespoon


A Few Notes:

  • This pie puffs up a lot: if you think you might have too much filling for your pie plate, leave a little bit behind! Bonus: you can bake the extra in a little ramekin for a mini pie snack.
  • Make sure to toast your pine nuts - it's mandatory (trust me). Either pop them in the preheated 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes (shaking around periodically), or toast them in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, until golden (about 5 minutes).
  • Crust browning too quickly? Tent some foil around the edges (I almost always need to do this).
  • A little jiggle in the middle is okay. But make sure the edges are set before you take the pie out.
  • The flaky sea salt sprinkled on the baked pie pushes it over the edge into "omg" territory.

Pairs Well With:

*Special equipment: 9 inch standard pie plate

The How To (Cornmeal Pastry):

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using your fingertips or a pastry cutter. Stir in the beaten egg with a spatula, just until the crust comes together. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

The How To (Honey & Pine Nut Filling):

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the melted butter, granulated sugar, cornmeal, and salt until smooth. On low speed, mix in the honey, apple cider vinegar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated.

Press the pastry evenly into your 9 inch pie plate, starting from the center and pressing outwards. Make sure you press it all the way up the sides! Scatter the toasted pine nuts along the bottom of the crust. Slowly pour the filling over the pine nuts. They'll float to the top - redistribute them with your fingers if necessary.

Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, until set. The middle will still jiggle a bit - that's okay! Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Optional, but highly recommended: Scatter flaky sea salt over the top of the pie. Pie keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.