Taff Mayberry knows his sweet tea, but the pastry chef from Athens, Georgia, doesn't relegate the drink solely to a steamy Southern afternoon. Instead, at James Holmes's restaurant, Lucy's Fried Chicken, in Austin, Texas, Mayberry highlights the humble beverage's versatility by brewing a strong cup of orange pekoe and folding it into his take on chess pie. The combination of two Southern favorites yields an intensely sweet slice teeming with flavor--ideal for when those sweltering summer afternoons seem a distant memory.
Sweet Tea Pie
Recipe adapted from Taff Mayberry, Lucy's Fried Chicken, Austin, TX
Yield: One 10-inch pie
Cook Time: 2 hours
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and diced into ½-inch cubes
⅓ cup ice water
1 cup hot water
2 orange pekoe tea bags
2½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons medium-grind cornmeal
⅔ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
11 egg yolks
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Using the paddle attachment on low speed, add the butter into the flour mixture, beating until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on, gradually add the ice water. Beat until a dough just forms.
2. Form the dough into a rough circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove the dough and set aside to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch-round-and-¼-inch thick circle. Carefully place the dough over a 10-inch pie pan with about 1½ to 2 inches of dough hanging over the edge. Press the dough over the edge and use a fork to crimp the rim of the crust. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the filling.
4. Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350° and move the rack to the center of the oven. In a coffee cup, pour the hot water over the tea bags. Set aside to brew for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the bags. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt. Set aside. In a large, heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the reserved tea and lemon juice. Whisk in the flour mixture.
5. Fill a medium saucepot with water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixing bowl with the sweet-tea filling over the simmering water and add the butter in four batches, whisking until each batch is melted before adding the next batch. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell and place in the oven on the center rack. Bake until the center jiggles but does not ripple and the top is a deep brown, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much). Remove the pie from the oven and set aside to rest at room temperature until cool. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.