The idea for this recipe came to me in a dream, and when I woke up I couldn’t wait to make it. I took it as a very good omen when “Cook with Honey,” a Judy Collins song I remembered from my early 20s, began to stream on the Internet radio just as I was adding in a cup of orange blossom honey, which I had been saving for a special occasion. The combination of the music and special honey made this pie seem magical. Defrost the delicate phyllo dough in the fridge overnight, and use a light touch when handling.
Orange blossom honey has a mild and light citrus flavor. Clover honey, which is also mild tasting, can be substituted.
“Phyllo” is the Greek word for “leaf,” which is an apt description of the tissue-thin dough sheets used in Mediterranean baking that can be found in the freezer section at the grocery store. As it is more fragile than pie dough, a little extra care is needed when working with it. Defrost the dough slowly in the fridge. The sheets can dry out quickly, so keep them covered with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel on top to keep them moist. Brush each layer with melted butter before adding another layer. When working with this fragile dough, I say the words “light light light . . . butter butter butter” as I lift and brush each layer. Be patient as you go. The end result is worth the effort.