Well I’ll bee damned.
I’ve gotta tell you, I said “this probably isn’t going to turn out” to myself at least 17 times as I made this pie. But much to my surprise, the bees wound up looking like bees, the honeycomb pattern looked like honeycomb, the filling set to an awesome consistency, and the Honey Lemon Chiffon Pie… well, I don’t want to be arrogant and say that it wound up perfect, but it tasted pretty perfect to me.
Let me just tell you, by the way, I’m no pie expert. I can count on one hand all of the pies I’ve ever made– they’re all on this blog, actually. I still get nervous about making my own crust, and I always worry that using new techniques will leave me stuck in the dark alleyway between “you tried your best” and “at least it’s edible.” I’m convinced that pies can smell my fear.
Still, when I saw the inspiration for this pie I knew I had to go for it– you gotta dream big, after all.
And if I can pull this off, you’re going to absolutely rock it.
This Honey Lemon Chiffon Pie was inspired by The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, who (as far as I know) created the honeycomb-topped pie technique. Can you tell how it’s done? It might look like there’s some craftsmanship involved in making those perfect indentations, but all you have to do is press bubble wrap on top of the pie as it sets in the freezer. How awesome is that?
And the bees! I made the bees by adding a couple of drops of yellow food coloring to a small bowl of white chocolate wafers, microwaving them together, and drizzling the melted mixture over some chocolate-covered raisins. Then I took almond slices, dipped the ends in the white chocolate, and stuck those to the sides of the “bee bodies” to look like wings. Adorable, right?
I love that the honeycomb pattern and little bees made this Honey Lemon Pie really work for spring or summer. I mean, when I think pies, my mind usually goes to fall– to gooey, warm, and bubbly fruits tucked beneath ultra-buttery crumbles and crusts, or to dense pumpkin purees overloaded with cinnamon and nutmeg. But with Pi Day around the corner, I wanted to make a pie that was billowy, bright, and used seasonal flavors. And the first thing that came to mind was a sunshine-yellow chiffon pie with bumble bees and flowers and citrus. It feels like the perfect Easter or Mother’s Day dessert, doesn’t it? Especially if you’re a lemon-lover like me.
By the way, I vaguely mentioned Pi Day just then but I keep forgetting to let you guys know about this awesome contest that I’m helping to run right now!
It’s called the “Show Us Your Pi” Instagram photo contest. All you have to do is share a picture of your homemade pie by the end of Pi Day (3.14) 2017 on Instagram with the hashtag #PiBakingContest to enter, and you could win $350 worth of prizes! More specifically, you could win a $100 Kitchen Kapers Gift Certificate and a Emile Henry 8-Piece Baking Set. The pie plate I’m using in this recipe is actually from Emile Henry and I highly recommend it– luckily, you’ll get one in the baking set if you win.
The entry with the most “likes” wins, so be sure to share the link to your photo with your friends. Voting will end 3/14/17 and the winner will be announced on Instagram on 3/15/17. You can even use an old picture of one of your homemade pies (if you have one), so go ahead and get those prizes! You got this.
By the way, I can’t enter (obviously!) but you could always make this Honey Lemon Chiffon Pie yourself and enter it instead. I’m biased, but I think it’d get a lot of likes, don’t you?
And even if you don’t wind up entering the contest, don’t forget to take a picture for Instagram anyway, as always! You can still tag #hostthetoast and show off your pie to the world on the You Made It page. I can’t wait to see yours!
- 1 (3.5 ounce) box chocolate-covered raisins
- ⅓ cup white chocolate melting wafers
- Yellow food coloring
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 1 9" blind-baked pie crust
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 cup clover honey, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice, strained, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bubble wrap, to set
- Lemon wheels, to garnish, optional
- Flowers to garnish, optional
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the chocolate covered raisins in rows.
- Place the white chocolate melting wafers and a few drops of food coloring in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave to melt according to package directions. Mix until smooth and yellow.
- Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and then quickly wave the fork over the chocolate-covered raisins, back and forth, drizzling over the melted yellow chocolate to create stripes. Dip the ends of the almond slices into the remaining melted chocolate and press the almond slices onto the sides of the chocolate-covered raisins to create wings. Allow the chocolate to set before moving the bees.
- Meanwhile, make an ice bath ready by partially filling a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.
- Pour ¼ cup cold water into a saucepan and sprinkle all over with gelatin. Let the mixture sit until the gelatin absorbs all of the water, about 5 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup of the honey, and then whisk in the salt, ¾ cup of the lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Don't let the mixture come to a full boil. It will continue to thicken much, much more as it cools.
- Immediately transfer the saucepan to the ice bath to let cool until the lemon mixture is cold to the touch. Whisk occasionally to make sure the mixture is cooling evenly.
- Beat 1½ cups of the cream with ¼ cup of the confectioner's sugar until soft peaks form. Mix in the vanilla extract and beat again until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream, a bit at a time, into the cooled lemon mixture. Keep folding until smooth and well-combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and smooth the top. Firmly press the bubble wrap, bubble-side down, onto the surface of the pie. Make sure that the filling has filled in all of the crevices in between the bubbles to get the neatest indentations. Transfer the pie to the freezer for at least 4 hours, to set. Once you can peel the bubble wrap off without disturbing the filling, it's ready to glaze.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the remaining honey and lemon juice and microwave for 30 seconds, or until softened. Mix well and brush over the top of the frozen pie. Refrigerate the pie for an hour to thaw.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining cream and confectioner's sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the pie and decorate with the honey bees, lemon wheels, and flowers. Serve.
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