Maple Pecan Pie
Pie, always pie, is my favorite dessert. The "winnah" this year for Best Dessert, Pie Category is Maple Pecan Pie. Sweet, rich and unabashedly decadent, this should be the standard by which all pecan pies are measured. I made it for the Thanksgiving Day dessert buffet.
The pie was not a random choice. Maple is my favorite flavor. (Chocolate isn't even close.) The eggs were from a local farm. I used Pennsylvania dark amber maple syrup and a little brown sugar; dark Karo corn syrup never was an option. I made a Crisco crust because I wanted a crisp, salty crust against that sweet filling, foregoing my preferred lard crust because vegetarians were at the table. My friend Kate provided the Georgia pecans, bought to benefit a charity. And best of all, I used my mum's pie plate.
Pie Pastry to line a 9-inch pie plate generously
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pure maple syrup, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
12/3 cups pecan halves
Prepare the pie shell according to the directions and line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Flute the rim of the pastry a bit higher than usual, always a good idea when you make a liquid-y pie. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed for 2 minutes. This will help make the texture of the pie light. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.
Spread the pecans in the pie shell, then slowly pour in the egg mixture.
Bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 375 degrees, then bake for about another 30 minutes. When done, the pie will be golden, puffed and not soupy in the middle. Cool completely on a rack before slicing. Serve with blobs of whipped cream. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
-- "Maple Syrup Cookbook" by Ken Haedrich (Storey, 2001)