Maple and “Pecan” Pie

To me nothing says November like a pecan pie, or at least a pecan-like pie. Those flavorful American nuts aren’t easy to come by in Italy, but I don’t let that simple fact stand between me and my dessert of choice… I have found that using half walnuts and half hazelnuts makes for a rich and delicious pie that is the absolute essence of autumn.

Maple and “Pecan” Pie

  • 1 classic pie crust (recipe here)
  • 6 oz (170 g, about 1 1/2 cups) of shelled pecans, or substitute with 3 oz of walnuts plus 3 oz of hazelnuts
  • 4 Tbsp (60 g) butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (320 g) maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface, transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200° C). Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast while the oven is heating up, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching closely to avoid burning. Remove nuts from oven, let cool, then chop coarsely.

When the oven is hot, pre-bake the crust. Line the inside of the cold crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans to hold it in shape. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and foil, and bake until crust is light-golden, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).

In the meantime, beat together the melted butter, eggs, sugar, maple syrup and salt until well blended.

Spread the pecans evenly in the pre-baked pie shell and pour the custard over them. The pecans will float to the surface.

Bake at 300°F (150°C) for about an hour. The pie is done when the outer edges are set and the center still trembles slightly when touched; it will set completely while cooling. Let cool completely and serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.

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