Pecan pie is a fairly sweet pie and rightly so. But I don't like pecan pie when it's overly sweet. I know that "overly sweet" is subjective, but I wanted to craft this recipe to my family's tastes. Instead of using one cup (8 fluid ounces) of corn syrup (which is the amount that most recipes for a 9-inch pie seem to require), I cut back on the corn syrup and I even replaced some volume with maple syrup. When combined with the corn syrup, the maple syrup adds a very subtle yet different dimension of sweetness to the pie. Whole pecans are really stunning and pretty in a pecan pie, but I like using chopped pecans since I have difficulty cutting nice pie wedges when I use whole pecans. I have to say that making the filling is as easy as pie. I know, bad pun, but it had to be said.
Maple Pecan Pie
(makes one 9-inch pie)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
One 9-inch pie shell, pre-baked as directed below*
*Flaky Pie Dough
(makes enough dough for two 9-inch pies)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 tsp vinegar
Cut the butter into tiny cubes and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Sift flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer. Place bowl of dry ingredients in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove butter and mixer bowl with dry ingredients from the freezer. Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix on low for 2-3 minutes until the butter is the size of peas. Combine ice water and vinegar and add to dough. Mix until dough just comes together, about 20 seconds.
Gather dough and divide into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour (and up to 3 days).
Take out one disk of chilled dough. Save the other disk for another use. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and 2-3 inches larger than the pie pan. Transfer dough carefully to a 9-inch pan. Let the pie shell rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes (and up to 1 day) before baking.
Preheat oven to 375F. Blind bake the pie shell by lining with parchment or buttered foil. Fill the parchment/foil lined shell with pie weights.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375F. Remove parchment and pie weights. Continue baking for 10 minutes more until light golden. Set pie shell aside on a baking sheet while you make the filling. Decrease oven temperature to 350F.
To make pie filling
Whisk brown sugar and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in corn syrup and maple syrup. Mix in melted butter, vanilla and salt. Mix in chopped pecans. Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake at 350F until the sides of the filling are slightly puffed but the center is still a bit "sunken", about 35 to 45 minutes.
Allow pie to cool on a wire rack. Serve pie slightly warm or at room temperature.