Honey Tart

A couple weekends before Christmas, my sister and I went to visit our cousin in Philly and we ate at several Michael Solomonov restaurants. We went to happy hour at Abe Fisher where we enjoyed an amazing honey tart for dessert. It was decadent and delicious. The tart was served on a plate drizzled with honey and decorated with diced pear, walnuts, and a sprinkle of bee pollen.

During my weeklong holiday break at the end of the year, I made an effort to cook a few new dishes and because I wanted to make a yummy dessert for our fancy New Year's dinner, I decided to try and recreate the honey tart at home. It didn't taste exactly like the one we enjoyed at Abe Fisher but it turned out pretty awesome. I used lots of honey - my sister says that my honey addiction is greatly affecting the bee and honey shortage - and a vanilla bean to enhance the floral flavor of the honey.
Ingredients [yields (1) 8" tart or (6) 4" tarts]:
half batch pie dough
2 cups milk
½ cup honey
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, scraped
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

Make some pie dough to start. Use ice cold butter and ice cold water to ensure a flaky and tender dough. An alternative to pie dough would be to make a cookie crumb crust. I think Biscoff cookies (or Speculoos if you're a Trader Joe's fan) would be awesome here.
Chill the pie dough.
If you're using a single tart pan, roll the dough out and form into the tart pan. I decided to use smaller pans, so I divided my dough into six equal pieces, rolled each piece out in between parchment paper, and then formed them into the pans.
Dock the bottom of the crust, line with parchment, and fill with pie weights. (I use rice.) Bake the crusts at 350F for 10 minutes or until it's set. Then, remove the pie weights and parchment and re-bake the crusts at 350F for another 5 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
Set the crusts aside to cool and get started on the custard. Heat up milk in a saucepan along with honey and the leftover vanilla pod (setting aside the scraped vanilla caviar for the next step). Gently heat the milk until scalding.
In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, the scraped vanilla caviar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until smooth and pale.
Temper the egg yolks with a little of the hot milk mixture and whisk quickly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Add in the milk little by little until the yolks are warmed through. Then, whisk in the rest of the milk.
Return the custard base into the saucepan and heat over low, whisking continuously until the custard thickens and comes to a boil.
Whisk in a pat of butter until smooth and silky and fish out the vanilla pod. If you're worried about the texture of the custard, you can always send it through a sieve. I noticed little bits of vanilla pod floating in my custard so I sieved mine.
Allow the custard to cool.
Poor the cooled custard into the cooled crusts and then cover and chill.
The chilled custards should hold their shape.
These tarts are so good. I love the obvious taste of honey in the custard, the contrast of the smooth filling to the crisp crust, and of course, it's pretty to look at. I didn't have any pear so I garnished with a red raspberry, just for a little color. To be honest, the flavor of raspberry is probably a bit too bold for this tart. I think that Michael Solomonov had it right with the diced pear. Next time.
Here's the recipe page: