Maple syrup and pumpkin both make me think of fall, so it made perfect sense to me to combine the two in this version of the classic Thanksgiving pie. Maple is a subtle flavor, so I boost the flavor by adding a little pure maple extract to the filling and drizzling the pie with some maple syrup at serving. The Maple Pumpkin Seeds are easy to make (and can be made up to a week in advance), and they offer a crunchy contrast to the creamy filling. If you don’t have all the required spices on hand, feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice instead.
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10
Buttery Pie Crust
- 1 2/3 cups (217 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (59 grams) ice-cold water
- 3 large (150 grams) eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ¾ cups (1 can or 425 grams/15 oz) canned pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s)
- 3/4 cup (174 grams) heavy cream
- ½ cup (150 grams) maple syrup
- 1/3 cup (71 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon pure maple extract (optional – just don’t use that dreadful imitation maple extract!)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Maple Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/3 cup (48 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
- Sweetened whipped cream
- Maple syrup, for drizzling
Make the dough for the crust
- Put the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended. Scatter the butter cubes on top and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Combine the vinegar with the water and drizzle it over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form large clumps and is mostly clumped together. (You don’t want it to form a ball around the blade, because that will cause gluten strands to form and make the crust tough.) Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape it into a 5-inch disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
Roll out the crust
- Lightly flour a large work surface. Place the unwrapped dough disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round about 1/8 inch or slightly less thick and about 2 inches greater in diameter than the pie pan you are using.
- Transfer the crust to a 9 1/2-inch pie pan by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it carefully over the pan. Press the dough first into the bottom of the pan and then against the sides. Patch any holes or cracks with dough scraps. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang. Tuck the edge of the dough under itself to create a border all the way around. Using the knuckle of your right index finger and the thumb of your left hand, crimp the edge of the dough. Lightly prick the bottom of the dough with a fork all over at 1-inch intervals. Refrigerate the pie crust for at least 45 minutes before baking. If you like, re-roll the dough scraps and cut out a few leaf shapes (or whatever!) to garnish the top of the pie.
Pre-bake the pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line the pie crust with a piece of parchment paper or lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Bake the crust for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack while you make the filling. Bake the cut-outs for garnish, if you made them (reduce the oven temperature to 375˚F; baking time will depend on their size, so watch them carefully). Set them on a wire rack to cool, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
Make the filling
- Whisk together the eggs and pumpkin puree until blended. Whisk in the cream, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, vanilla, maple extract, salt and spices just until smooth. Pour the filling into prepared crust and transfer the pie to a baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the filling is almost, but not quite, set in the center — it should be quivery, but not liquid. (Pay careful attention to the pie at this point, as overbaking might cause the pie filling to eventually crack on top.) Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool for at least 3 hours before serving. (If you are making the pie a day before serving, refrigerate it.)
Roast the pumpkin seeds
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300˚ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a small bowl, toss together the pumpkin seeds, maple syrup and vegetable oil. Scatter the seeds on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are a golden green. Cool completely.
- Serve slices of the pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkling of the pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup, if you like.