Maple Sugar Pie

This classic custard pie, from writer and food stylist Erin Jeanne McDowell, is popular in some parts of the Midwest and Canada, where it's made with lots of maple. The flaky pie crust is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet filling, which is silky smooth and sinfully rich.

25 mins
48 to 59 mins
2 hrs 24 mins
one 9" pie
Maple Sugar Pie - select to zoom
Maple Sugar Pie - select to zoom
Maple Sugar Pie - select to zoom


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  1. To make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter pats, tossing them in the flour until well coated. Work the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the squares into big shards and continuing to toss them through the flour as you work, ultimately creating pieces about the size of peas.

  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Start by adding 3 tablespoons (43g) ice water, mixing with a fork or bowl scraper. Add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary, continuing to mix just until the dough comes together. As the dough becomes cohesive, you can knead it a few times to make sure it's evenly moistened, but it's important to not over-hydrate it; it should never be sticky. It should hold together in a ball but still feel almost dry to the touch.

  3. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic or your favorite reusable wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes, and as long as overnight. When you're "ready to roll," remove the dough from the refrigerator. If the dough has been refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, let it rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling, to allow the butter to soften up a bit.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425°F, preferably with a baking stone on the bottom rack.

  5. Roll the dough into a circle about 12" in diameter. Place it in a 9" pie pan, and tuck the excess dough around the perimeter under itself, working all the way around and pressing lightly to help the dough "seal" to the outer edge of the pie pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Crimp the edges as desired.

  6. Prick ("dock") the chilled dough all over with a fork. Cut out a piece of parchment or foil slightly larger than the pan, place over the dough, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice.

  7. Bake the crust until the edges barely begin to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the liner and weights, then bake for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the middle no longer looks damp. Cool the crust while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

  8. For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Whisk in the maple syrup, milk, cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture (or add the vanilla). Stir with the whisk instead of whipping; you don't want to add air bubbles to the mixture.

  9. Pour the custard into the cooled pie crust over the back of a spoon (this removes any bubbles). Use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles on the surface of the pie.

  10. Bake the pie until the custard appears set on the outside but is still slightly wobbly in the center, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before slicing and serving

  11. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Feel free to use your favorite single pie crust recipe here, if you like. Follow the rolling and baking instructions outlined in this recipe to ensure the pie shell is well baked before adding the filling.