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Exotic Lands Honey and Spice Pie

Recipe By: Helen Fields
Year Submitted: 2018
Winner Third Place


Crust Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening, cold
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
3 tablespoons vodka, very cold
3 tablespoons water, very cold
Small amount of flour for rolling dough

Filling Ingredients:
4 ounces Medjool dates, pitted
4 ounces dried apricots halves
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners€™ sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds, toasted; divided use

Topping ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons honey; divided use


In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, and granulated sugar. Add shortening, cut in until consistency of coarse meal. Working quickly, cut in butter until ingredients are about pea sized. Stir together vodka and water. Make a well in center of dry ingredients, and add 5 tablespoons liquid and pull together with a fork. If more liquid is needed to form a dough, add a teaspoon at a time. Form dough into a disc about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After chilling time, remove dough from refrigerator, and place on a rolling board sprinkled lightly with flour. Roll dough until about 1/4-inch thick and lift into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim, and finish edges as desired. Place pie crust in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While dough rests, preheat oven to 400 degrees F., and prepare fruit mixture.

Put dates and apricots in a small food processor, pulse until finely chopped. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook dates, apricots, corn syrup, water, and baking soda until mixture comes to a boil; stir frequently. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes more until mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool completely.

Remove crust from fridge, use weights, and blind bake about 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Combine cream cheese, confectioners€™ sugar, 1/4-cup cream, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. At medium speed, beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture into cooled pie shell, smooth top. Sprinkle 3/4 cup almonds evenly over cream cheese layer.

Spoon and spread date mixture over almonds. Refrigerate 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, whip 1 cup cream with 2 tablespoons honey. Pipe or spread cream on top of pie. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon honey over top. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons almonds on top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.