Honey. White chocolate. Baileys. Sea salt. Vanilla. This pie is my attempt to fuse every single one of my favourite food things into my favourite dessert application: pie. The sea salt stops what could have been a cloy disaster right in its tracks, and creates what is almost the baked goods equivalent of salted caramel ice cream.
I like to pretend that I’m the type of person who struggles to finish a dessert (“Oh, it’s just too rich!” “A tiny bite is enough!” “Oh, no – half that slice– at most!”), but the truth is I’m not that person, I never will be that person, and I routinely cull friends who show any signs of being that person. Take your hot person problems elsewhere please, and let me eat my cake. Pie. Whatevs.
If you so happen to be that person, feel free to use all milk instead of cream. If you try to use any variety of low fat milk as a replacement, then consider yourself completely and totally and irrevocably culled. There’s a time and a place for low fat dairy products and that is never and nowhere.
Salted Honey, White Chocolate and Baileys Tart
Salted Honey, White Chocolate and Baileys Filling
2 ½ cups of full cream milk
1 cup of cream
½ cup of Baileys
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
¾ cup of honey
250 grams of good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 large tablespoon of butter
2 cups of all purpose flour
¼ cup of white sugar
¼ cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cold water
pinch of sea salt
one teaspoon of cinnamon
Honey Whipped Cream
Seeds from one vanilla bean
200ml of thick whipping cream
Tablespoon of honey
Extra sea salt
Whichever berries you happen to fancy
For the crust:
Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined and pale(r). Add the egg. Beat well. Add all other ingredients. And combine until you’ve got a firm dough.
Press into a pie tin and bake at 180 degrees.
For the filling
Whisk eggs and honey together in a bowl with the flour and cornstarch.
In a large saucepan, slowly bring the milk, Baileys, scraped vanilla bean seeds, vanilla bean pod and cream (just!) to the boil then remove quickly (quickly!). Don’t let it burn. Not that I’ve done that. Stir it constantly as it heats. Remove the vanilla bean.
Whisk the Baileys mixture into the egg mixture to combine. Add in the white chocolate and return to the saucepan, stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Keep whisking so that the white chocolate combines smoothly with the rest of the mix. Trust me, it does. Keep going. Add the sea salt. Check for appropriate sweet / salty balance. Add a tad more honey if you need to. Or more, salt, whatever. Allow to thicken a tad more.Pour into that delicious pie crust that you made earlier. From here you have two options. Return the whole darn thing to the oven and bake it on 330 degrees for about twenty to thirty minutes. The inside should still wobble.
Allow to cool completely and then pop it in the fridge until it’s cold. This will both allow it to set and allow it to get about ten times more delicious than you ever imagined.
For the cream
Beat the cream and vanilla bean seeds, together until they are thick and fluffy piles of marshmallow goodness. Fold in the honey. Allow to chill for a bit to let the flavours mingle.
Serve the pie sprinkled with pistachios, extra sea salt and blueberries. With twice the amount of whipped cream as the person sitting next to you.
By the same convention-defying streak that sees me occasionally pop my Once-A-Day multivitamin twice a day, I chose to colour outside the lines and pair Baileys with tea in this milkshake, instead of the usual coffee. I thought this was totally original and brilliant until about thirty seconds ago when I actually Googled “Baileys and chai”. As it turns out, this combination isn’t as groundbreaking as I had hoped, but it is good. Really good. I’ve used hazelnut milk because tastes spectacular, and makes the whole ordeal much lighter and fresher and suited to warm afternoons than cow’s milk. Feel free to use almond, or whichever milk takes your fancy.
Baileys and Chai Milkshake
What you need:
500ml hazelnut milk
4 scoops vanilla bean gelato
60ml of Baileys
dash of vanilla extract
50ml of Chai concentrate (I use Dona Chai)
Cinnamon, to dust
What you do:
Place everything in a blender. Divide between glasses. Dust with cinnamon.
Bizarrely, by the same misguided token that sees people solicit relationship advice from me (lol lol lol), I've also been probed with various travel questions as of late. My inbox, usually boasting subject lines such as "Your Bank of America Balance Fell Below $25" is now jam-packed with correspondence from lovely folk who assume that my tattooed passport and repetitive anectodes are indicative of me being trusty source of travel guidance.
I'm flattered, and there is literally nothing I love more than people assuming I know more than them on any topic, but I'm actually really bad at airports.
Like beyond bad. And I'm not the only one. A recent BCPD (Bi-Coastal-Phone-Debrief; an acronym I literally just invented) with my bestie in LA saw me half-heartedly asking how her flight home was, and her admitting a very near brush with total public meltdown.
"My plane was delayed. My bag was overweight. The staff were HORRIBLE and by the time I realised there was a Chipotle I had already committed to a shitty Subway salad."
It's a situation too real for many of us. I offered my condolences and we conceded one thing: airports are a special kind of hell and the only people who genuinely enjoy them are those who fly once a year to go on holiday. Don't get me wrong; I love to travel. The miniature toiletries! An excuse to wear novelty eye-masks in public! The ability to use jetlag to bail on social commitments!
But actually flying? We hate it. I hate it with the venomous hostility I reserve for three-piece lounge suits and women who use the word 'hubby'. Like French men, team sports and having sex in swimming pools, air travel falls firmly into the category of things that I really like the idea of, but never so much the reality.
In interviews with both YEN and IN BED store, I've fraudulently ascertained that I love plane trips, a tactic I can only assume was an attempt to seem well-traveled and romantic. Close friends can attest to my tumultuous relationship with airports and their staff, having bore witness to a sprawling number of incidents which I'm not sure qualify as highs or lows.
Ironically, I started strong, with Kodak moments confirming a ten-day old baby Sam sprawled lazily across a first class seat en route to Melbourne, to be Christened into a faith I'd later reject. Asleep, content, adored by air hostesses and fellow passengers alike; as loftily as I once soared, so dramatically did I crash. From being flatly denied my fourth (?) tequila due to United's "airline policy", to prematurely necking a Valium in the Sydney immigration queue and regaining consciousness in LA, to calling a member of ground staff at San Francisco airport the c-word in a tone that was less-under-my-breath than intended(low, low, low point); my more recent brushes with aviation have been somewhat turbulent, peppered with episodes I wish I could forget.
Though despite my seemingly ad-hoc approach to sedatives and disregard for public decorum, I do feel like my frequent flier status means I have something valuable to offer on this topic. And because I'm sure the internet doesn't feel like indulging the woes of another Gen-Y-er on #funcation who feels personally victimized by the baggage-check staff at Charles-De-Gaul, I'll try to keep this less about my (many) personal failings and more about how you can be better at flying than me.
1. Know What You Can Bring
Know what you can take and how much of it. Just because Sydney airport is fairly lax about carry-on-toiletry sizing doesn't mean that Suvarnabhumi airport will be. No really; this is a direct example. Take it from someone who learned the hard way that no amount of fake tears (low point) and convincing that your dead grandmother bought you that Aesop hand-cream (really low point) is going to get it back from Nattakan in Bangkok security screening. Getting away with something at one airport does not guarantee it flying (eh, eh!) at another.
2. Pack Literally a Third of the Shit You Assume You'll Need
(14kg overweight x €9 per kg = you not eating for at least three days)
You're going to buy stuff. Having to haul out the contents of your suitcase into your carry-on and pack on nearly every single item of your clothing to avoid airport fees is a special kind of hell. Unless you want to be forced to wear spend your first night in Berlin drunk-tweeting EasyJet about their carry-on size flexibility (or lack thereof), suck it up and stick to their rules.
3. Sedatives Are Your Friend
If valium is wrong, I don't want to be right. I clearly get a bit happy-go-lucky when it comes to air travel and prescription meds, so this is definitely more of a 'do as I say, not as I do' situation'. Jokes aside, sleeping pills give you the chance to align your body clock with that of your destination.
4. Take Snacks
All of the snacks. More is more. One unshakeable certainty about flying is that your plane will most likely be delayed and the food you are served on your tardy flight is likely to be inedible, or unavailable to you due to some sort booking catastrophe or an unfortunately misaligned credit card / cash combination with your arline. And not to get all virtuous-kale-queen on you but if you eat rubbish on a plane you will typically disembark feeling like rubbish too. Do not bring: anything with a protruding smell, anything that requires a utensil sturdier than a paper, anything that is more than a one-napkin situation, anything that can be easily shared if the person next to you so audaciously happens to ask. Every man for himself.
I recently had a chat with the good people over at Baileys about what you're likely to find on my bar cart. To cut a long story short, this is what you'll find on my bar cart.
What are your bar cart essentials?
I tend to gravitate toward the predictably girly options; vodka, lemon, soda water. Angostura bitters, always, because my mum would always add a dash of it to lemonade when I was little. I also went all out and bought these fancy coupe champagne glasses, despite my dangling alarmingly close to the poverty line usually preventing me from drinking actual fancy champagne from them. Also Baileys, over ice, natch.
How do you style your bar cart or area?
Seeing as my apartment is roughly the size of a beach towel, my bar area tends to be fairly ad hoc and dependant on whichever surface happens to be available. The only decorative things I buy are flowers from the bodega around the corner from me that are yet to exceed a seven hour lifespan. But I keep going back, like a desperate ex girlfriend, hoping it will be different next time. I also have a couple of Mason Balzac candles scattered about, and an APC orange blossom candle that may be my favourite smell in the world.
Where do you stock up on great accessories?
I don't really, my bar cart is hilariously unequipped and until about three days ago I was still trapped in that awkward phase of opening cider bottles with a lighter. My cocktail shaker and stirrer are from Whisk on Bedford Avenue. I stock up on linens and tea towels from The Assembly and MUR. The decanter is from The Brooklyn Kitchen. I also have a jar of rose petals that I smuggled back through customs from the Grand Bizarre in Istanbul which I obnoxiously sprinkle over every single cocktail I make for people.
What's the key to the perfect night out with the girls?
The right girls.
What's your favourite bar in your town?