Most anyone with a sweet tooth has a soft spot for pecan pie. This classic dessert is a real favorite among dessert lovers, and for good reason.
The best pecan pie has a smooth filling, a crunchy, nutty top, and a fully baked bottom crust. It’s not too sweet or rich as nut pies risk becoming. Maple syrup is the ingredient that gives this pie just the right texture and dose of sweetness. Added to the filling, it’s a way to sweeten and form a custard-like filling without making this dessert overwhelmingly sugary.
To get just the right baking temperature, we lowered the oven temperature and heated up the filling before adding it to a pre-baked pie shell. This recipe takes a bit of work, but the incredible flavor is absolutely worth the effort. To save on time, feel free to use a pre-made pie crust purchased from the store and skip to step 9. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe…
Maple Pecan Pie Recipe
(makes 8-12 servings)
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, divided into 1/4″ pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, frozen and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg white, chilled, and thoroughly mixed with ice water (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1/8 teaspoon water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup maple syrup, grade B.
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole pecans, toasted, and chopped into small pieces, plus extra whole pecans for topping
- For crust, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor. Scatter butter and shortening over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal (about 15 seconds).
- Move the mixture to a medium bowl,and using a rubber spatula, fold the egg white mixture into the flour mixture until the dough sticks together.
- Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, then flatten into a 4-inch disk.
- Dust the dough lightly with flour, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 13″ circle and transfer to a 9″ pie pan.
- Press the dough into the corners and sides of the pan, then trim the edges of the dough to make a 1/2″ overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough under so the folded edge is flush with the rum of the pan, and crimp or flute the edges.
- Chill the shell in the fridge until firm (about 1 hour).
- Prick the sides and the bottoms of the shell with a fork and line the entire shell with aluminum foil, pressing the foil firmly against the shell, then prick the foil with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Bake the shell for 15 minutes, pressing down on the crust midway through the baking to flatten any puffing.
- Remove the foil after 15 minutes, and bake another 10 minutes until the bottom begins to color. Remove from the oven, and brush the sides and bottom with egg yolk, and return to the oven for about another minute until the yolk glazes over.
- Remove from oven and let cool while preparing the filling. Lower the oven temperature down to 275F.
- While the oven cools, set up a small pot of boiling water, and melt the butter for the filling in a large, microwave safe bowl.
- Mix in sugar and salt until the butter is absorbed.
- Beat in eggs, then maple syrup and vanilla extract, and rest the bowl over the boiling water, stirring until the mixture is shiny and warm to the touch.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
- Press the pecan mixture into the warm shell, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, press the unchopped pecans into the top of the pie with a spatula, then bake for another 30 minutes.
- Let the pie cool after baking for at least 4 hours.
- Serve the pie with whipped cream or ice cream.
Recipe adapted from Slate