National Pollinator Week is a great time to celebrate bees and the delicious, natural sweetener they provide. Without bees, we wouldn’t have honey. The value of honey production in North Carolina in 2015 was $2.4 million.
The taste and color of honey can vary based on what bees are pollinating at the time of making the honey. Popular honey varieties in our state include sourwood, tulip poplar, wildflower and clover. Check the label when buying honey and make sure you see the Got To Be NC logo. Buying local honey supports our beekeepers and the bees that are critical to agriculture. Check out the NCDA&CS Marketing Division’s webpage on honey for more information.
Lisa Prince says the recipe below is like eating a honey pecan pie with a shortbread crust. Try it with different varieties of honey to slightly change the flavor.
To make the crust:
Whisk cream, egg, yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor to mix. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add cream mixture, and process until dough just comes together. Shape ¾ of the mixture into a disk and the other ¼ into a small disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm about 1 hour; reserve the small disk to make cookies. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw before using.)
Heat oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. (If dough is soft and sticky, transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until firm but pliable, about 5 minutes.) Cut out a 12 inch round, and fit in into a fluted 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Patch any tears with scraps of dough.) Freeze while making the filling (or cover and freeze for up to 3 days).
To make the filling:
Bring the sugar, honeys, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking until sugar dissolves. Add butter, and whisk until incorporated. Transfer honey mixture to a medium bowl, and let cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in cream, egg, and yolk until incorporated.
Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter pecans over bottom. Slowly pour filling over pecans, redistributing the pecans evenly with your fingers. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set but still slightly wobbly, about 1 hour. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.