This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson and a bakery in Brooklyn, made by the amazing @clerkenwellboyec1.
For the pastry (or you can also buy short crust, a little bit of cheating is allowed)
- 225 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 125 ml mild and light olive oil
- 60 ml full fat milk
For the filling
- 100 g soft unsalted butter
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 2 tsp maldon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175 ml London Honey or Kent Summer (the latter if you'd like a more subtle taste)
- 3 large eggs
- 150 ml double cream
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
Mix the flour, salt, oil and milk to form a rough, slightly damp, dough. You can do this by hand or at low speed in a mixer. Tip out into your flan tin, and press patiently over the base and a little up the sides of the tin. I find a mixture of fingers, knuckles and the back of a spoon the easiest way to go. Put into the freezer for at least 1 hour. I tend to do this the day before, but in any event, the pastry will bake from frozen. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350°F and pop in a baking sheet at the same time.Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Take it off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then beat in the sugar, cornmeal, 2 teaspoons of Maldon salt and the vanilla extract. When all the above ingredients are incorporated, stir in the runny honey - oiling the bowl or jug you're measuring it in first - and beat in the eggs, followed by the cream and vinegar. Take the pastry-lined flan tin out of the freezer and pour the runny honey mixture into the case, then place on the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, turning it around after 30, at which time it will still seem very uncooked. When it's ready, it will be a burnished bronze on top, puffy at the edges and set in a soft jellied way in the middle (and it carries on setting as it cools).
Remove to a wire rack, sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoonful of Maldon salt, and leave to cool - this will take about 2 hours. It's best when properly cold.
To un-mould easily, sit the flan tin on top of a large jar or tin and let the ring part fall away, then transfer the liberated pie to a plate or board. I manage to get the pie off the flan base easily, but if you feel safer leaving the metal base on, then do. Slice modestly - this is rich and sweet, and you will want leftovers for yourself - and serve with clotted cream or creme fraiche.